Newsweek could have had the best magazine relaunch in recent memory today. Instead, no matter whether they turn out to have found the creator of Bitcoin or not, they fucked up the story. AP is the hero of the hour now, and Newsweek is the villain.

I get it. They panicked. They had what they were sure was the story — but they couldn’t quite lock it down. The guy wouldn’t confess.

But relaunch date is this week. This is it: their big splash. The story that puts Newsweek back on the map.

Unless it’s wrong.

But it can’t be. This is the guy. Has to be. He near as dammit admitted it.

It’s an agonising decision for an editor to have to make: hold the story until it’s locked down and risk losing the scoop of the year, or run what you have?

Here’s what I would have done: I’d have held the story.No question.

I’d have held the story, and then encouraged the reporter to send Nakamoto a registered letter. In it, they’d lay out our evidence. We’re publishing in a week, the letter would say, but we don’t want to get the story wrong. We know you value your privacy, so how about this: I’ll come to your home at a time that suits you, we’ll go for lunch to a safe, public place and you can tell me the whole story.…

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