Last night TTAG received a link to an image in the Fort Hood News of a soldier named Ivan Lopez. We published that picture assuming it was the Fort Hood shooter. After receiving emails and comparing it to a picture of the shooter published at fox.com we discovered that the photograph we published was of a different Ivan Lopez, a man who served this country honorably in Iraq as a Marine Corps Infantryman. We apologize to Marine Ivan Lopez, his family and his comrades-in-arms for the mistake. We have removed posts referring to the image from Facebook, Twitter and the main site. We will learn from this error and endeavor to live up to our website’s name in the future.

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83 Responses to Retraction: TTAG Published Picture of the Wrong Ivan Lopez

  1. Why I like TTAG. Now go deep and call the Marine up and donate 1k to his charity. Or that 3 gun Nick can’t sell..

    • And change your VISA card to this: Wounded Warrior Project.

      Who needs the stupid bank airline miles that don’t apply to this seat or the other blackout dates, anyway. Tell your friends- it adds up. I buy everything on it.

      • Excellent cause, but too much overhead. There is no excuse for close to 50% of charitable proceeds going to administration.

      • Wounded Warrior Project is a bad choice. They have a problem with pro-gun organizations using their logo and doing fundraisers for them. They don’t want to be associated with gun activities in any way. It was covered here.

        • Yeah because who would want to donate to a charity like WWP all because they dont want to be involved with the political shit storm that is discussing gun rights. I mean, they only spend tens of millions of dollars every year to help wounded veterans, a few who are friends of mine. But they dont want to be involved with guns, so what a horrible organization. FLAME DELETED

        • I have no interest in being affiliated with a group that’s happy to take my money (and that of others) as long as it’s not affiliated with a gun organization. Specifically in the case of a gun club that wanted to hold a raffle or a rifle shoot or something, and give the proceeds to the WWP. They were not allowed to promote their thing by saying “All proceeds go to the WWP” and show the logo. The WWP either declined to give permission, or issued a C&D after the club used it, I can’t recall which. They told the club that they would be very happy to get the money, but didn’t want their name associated with the source of the funds, because guns. That’s a mighty big “FU” as far as I’m concerned. The CEO of WWP even went on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk to answer the concerns raised about that attitude, and his statements made it perfectly clear how his organization felt about guns. There are plenty of other organizations out there that will be thrilled to get my money while not simultaneously turning their nose up at where it comes from.

          Last I checked, the “tens of millions of dollars” they spend is something on the order of half of what they take in, so there are also organizations that have much lower overhead to which I’d rather give my money. I’m not interested in supporting the standard of living of a CEO in a multimillion dollar home with my donations, thank you very much. Your friends deserve better than that.

          As far as your last, very helpful and informative sentence, all I can say is “Congratulations,” because you’ve managed to break my nearly month-long streak of not moderating any comments. Well done, sir.

  2. Ouch. Good catch and an honorable fast fix and heartfelt apology.

    Not gonna see that from the ombudsman at WAPO or NYT, methinks.

    Prayers and deepest condolences for the one Lopez family,
    and apologies to the other, for any slight big or small.

        • To be perfectly frank, you jumped on the last train, too early, and got your fingers burned too.

          Learn it again, this time. There should not be a third.

          Excuse my bluntness- I expect a higher standard than the StateRunMedia’s, and no excuses.

        • This article, in itself, shows a higher standard that the “StateRunMedia.” When’s the last time you saw the New York Times run a retraction on the front page?

        • CNN?, You should know to verify all liberal outlet stories before quoting them! grin.

        • @rlc2

          That’s pretty harsh. I’ll admit here that I’m not perfect and neither is TTAG. Kudos to TTAG for the retraction. If you can run a better website, than have at it.

  3. Glad you apologized. This isn’t directed at TTAG in particular, but I think all news agencies need to dial back the 24/7 news cycle a bit. Let facts be a bit more established before disseminating it. I understand the need to get “the scoop”, but in cases of tragedy, it might be best to slow your roll.

    • People say that, but then the instant something happens, they lunge for the nearest media outlet for the latest speculation. So who’s really driving this cycle?

      • True, people want to know what is going on, but media networks should be able to say don’t know what we don’t know. The blame lies solely on those who put the “facts” out there.

  4. Thank you Robert for quickly fixing the mistake and contacting me so quickly so I could help verify the picture was of the wrong man. Semper Fi

  5. I fail to see the reason why TTAG should get praise for a retraction and apology. We are so use to dealing with mediocre companies and media outlets that we start seeing the lack of bad business aspects as good business aspects.

    TTAG is a decent media outlet, they are not unbiased, but are generally not as crazy as some mainstream media outlets can be(left and right), and tend to at least present the facts, even if they have a bit of opinion attached to them. But what else can I expect from a gun blog?

    • At least they ‘print’ the retraction on the front page and not the bottom of page 5 in small font.

    • Retraction and apology are required when the ball gets dropped and most organisations will grudgingly give them when pressed.

      Where I credit RF et al is that, instead of putting it in six-point font at the bottom of page 43 behind the ads for ‘miracle fat burning pills’ (or the blog equivalent thereof), they pushed it up front as a main article to clearly say “Wrong Lopez. The pic we ran is of a good guy. We’re sorry.”

      It’s a bad mistake but at least the correction and apology is no less prominent than the original error. If you can’t be right then at least be honest…

  6. I’m sorry, but even if you accidentally put up a picture of the wrong Ivan Lopez, that doesn’t mean you owe the mistaken subject anything. This cultural habit in the United States of expecting compensation for a mistake is just wrong. Don’t misunderstand me; I am all about making things right. Did I goof up your hamburger? Ok, let me fix it. Did I post the wrong picture? Ok, let me fix it and apologize.

    WTF do you want? Do you think Rob owes this guy a ticket to Six Flags or something. Let me be clear America, just because something gets goofed up does not entitle you to more than making it right.

    • As mistakes go, putting a photograph of an innocent veteran with the idea that he’s a mass murderer is just a little worse than you getting my hamburger order wrong.

    • You must not know much about being courteous, do you? No? TTAG or RF don’t owe anything to Lopez. That doesn’t mean making up for it isn’t right. Kudos to TTAG for trying to reach out to him, and going out of their way to do so. I have faith in the People Of The Gun precisely because they don’t stick to minimum service all the time. Please don’t be that one jerk.

  7. Wow. That’s bad.

    Let me just ask… what worth was added to the story by adding that unconfirmed photo? Was it worth the damage it could do, being the wrong one? Or being the right one, for that matter. I still can’t understand why TTAG needs to publish photos of people killing for attention, other than click-bait. It provides little or no understanding of the situation.

    • I wouldn’t read TTAG without photos. Mass media (and TTAG Qualifies) relies on multiple forms of stimuli. The most common form being photographic in nature. Mass media is also a race and I don’t expect TTAG to be above it. They have bills to pay and families to feed and they have to be competitive in order to bring us the quality material we desire. This time they made a mistake and then they owned it and apologized and from the sounds of it Robert is even going to go the extra mile to compensate this individual (I don’t agree, but meh).

      So the short answer is, they have to do it because we expect and demand it. If they didn’t we’d go to someplace else that did.

      • Do you need to see that photo? Do you need to see the face of a murderer (except not, in this case!) for the story to make any sense to you? I’m not saying there should be no photo context whatsoever, but I’m saying that some photos cause more harm than good. What about a photo of the bodies, would that be defensible? Not to me, but I maybe some people need that, too…

        • I understand and respect your position. Do I personally need that category of photo. No, I do not. Do I understand why it is there. Yes I do. It’s just SOP that they use photos and attempt to make them as accurate as possible. There was a problem, there is no longer a problem. That’s all I’m saying.

  8. Some of you commenters need to figure out exactly what this website is. As far as I can determine, they don’t have the resources that the national networks have. Along with that, they don’t have the baggage that comes along with that, and for that I’m grateful.

    Seems to me that standing up, saying you’re wrong, and apologizing straight is the best way for someone of character to handle it. Nothing else should be necessary or expected from a website of this size and scope with their resources. They were doing their best to keep us informed, and got this one wrong. Stop your cryin.

  9. That shows the difference between bloggers and the real journalist from decades ago prior to the net. I know flame deleted, but do not care.

  10. I’d like to see the names and photos of mass murderers published much less often in the press. No need to add to their infamy or inspire copycats by posting that info with every new story about their crime.

  11. On a similar topic, I haven’t seen mention of it elsewhere, but last night around the same time or a little before, there was a incendiary image post about a Sig? ad. It had no comments, so I think it just went up and when I reloaded to see comments, it disappeared. Why was it removed? Did more information change the perspective? Just curious.

  12. Ooops.

    I flirted with posting his image at GunsSaveLife.com last night, but reminded myself of my policy against posting the image or likeness of scumbag killers.

    I only published his name to let folks know it wasn’t a “Mohammed”.

    John

  13. Wait, what? Are you trying to tell me that there’s more than one Ivan Lopez in the military?

    Inconceivable.

  14. Even Fox news said they had an image but were holding on to it till they had absolute confirmation.
    TTAGs legal underbelly is looking a little soft.
    Breaking Story, James Brady is still not dead.

  15. This open and honest retraction and correction makes TTAG better than literally every TV News program or channel currently operating in the US.

    • Obviously not when they are still posting false information. The Ivan Lopez they falsely accused/displayed the photo of yesterday has not only been put through the ringer but now they can’t even do justice correctly by affiliating him with the Marines not the Army of which he was part of. Double Fail.

      If you are going to spread information and it is your job for a living stop do the facts and proper checking versus spewing bs.

      • You got a source on that? Our information (some of it coming from someone who actually knows the guy that was erroneously pictured) indicates he’s a Marine, as stated above.

  16. Appreciate the correction. And like others have already said, it might be nice to skip the pictures and in-depth stories about the killer. It’s been pretty persuasively argued that in the nutty subculture of potential spree killers, fame–even posthumous–is a big motivator.

    There’s still plenty to talk about with this story. The victims, their families’ travails, and of course the wacky policy of disallowing trained soldiers from carrying arms on base.

  17. You made an honest mistake, with no malice intended, corrected it, and apologized.

    Compare that with Spike Jones re-tweet of the wrong George Zimmerman’s address with highly suspect motives.

    • I think we have also confused Spike Jones with Spike Jonze and Spike Lee on this thread. It’s easy to keep them straight if you remember that S. Jones is dead, S. Jonze spells his name funny and S. Lee wears glasses.

      Better just shut this one down

  18. “We apologize to Marine Ivan Lopez,”

    The Ivan Lopez you falsely displayed yesterday who was not the shooter was not in the Marines he was in the Army. (Face Palm) So yesterday you humiliate him, give grief to his family then today you apologize to him and put him in a branch he never served in? Great fact checking going on here.

  19. This is exactly why the media needs to slow the hell down and get the facts straight. Blame gets laid on or attributed to innocent people. Just because “CNN did it” is no excuse. TTAG jumps the shark. Again.

  20. This thread had, in several cases I do believe, revealed who the anti-Second Amendment folks really are hanging out on this site.

    They just could not restrain themselves and managed to come out of the closet and out themselves.

    Hilarious stuff.

  21. Whew. As a fly fisherman and a gun guy I was having a hard time equating the facts with the picture. Good work stepping up and admitting a mistake. Leave the misinformation to the antis.

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