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Retraction Of Fictitious Quotes Attributed To John Thornton

Full statement below

In 2011, Dealbreaker posted a piece entitled “Former Goldman President John Thornton’s Greatest Motivational Hits.” As of January 2019, the piece was published on the Dealbreaker website as part of a site-wide “update” performed during that year. Mr. Thornton recently became aware of that post and informed Dealbreaker that it contained at least six fictitious quotations that were falsely attributed to him. Dealbreaker responded promptly by removing the post from its website. In addition, Dealbreaker hereby fully and completely retracts that post and has agreed to publish the following statement: John L. Thornton, currently Executive Chairman of Barrick Gold Corporation and formerly President of the Goldman Sachs firm, recently discovered an article posted on the Dealbreaker website that falsely attributed to him six fabricated supposed quotations. The article, entitled “Former Goldman President John Thornton’s Greatest Motivational Hits,” was originally published on the Dealbreaker website in April 2011. In fact, Mr. Thornton never uttered any of the fictitious alleged quotations. Specifically, the article contained six false and mythical quotations that were wrongfully attributed to Mr. Thornton in the 1980s and 1990s, during his tenure at the Goldman Sachs firm. Two were lifted verbatim from a Saturday Night Live skit that was first performed many years later, in 2001. A third was also inspired by that same 2001 skit. Two others represented that Mr. Thornton had spoken with professional colleagues using words that were lifted from a celebrated film and popular song, neither of which had even been publicly released as of the time that the post impossibly claimed Mr. Thornton had said them. The sixth emanated from a 2011 book that was clearly based upon a 1999 publication that conceded that the fictitious quotation was “anecdotal” and “possibly apocryphal.” Shortly after Mr. Thornton alerted Dealbreaker to the falsity of the supposed quotations attributed to him in the posted article. Dealbreaker removed the article from its website and published this full and complete retraction. 


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