Right after I made the previous post, I left a comment on American Funds' website showing the quote from the newsletter. Much to my surprise, less than an hour later, I received a call from a somewhat horrified woman in their marketing department, asking me who'd written it and where the information had come from. Not only did she think it sounded unlike anything a representative from AF would say, but it patently wasn't true -- AF had a small holding in Worldcom at one point. I gave her the HR person's phone number. Haven't heard anything from them since.
One of the things that struck me about this is that marketing for a mutual fund is a highly regulated affair, and making a claim like that could get them in real trouble with the SEC. My guess at this point would be that whoever wrote up this bit for the newsletter based it on a half-understood conversation with someone from AF. Either that, or the woman who called me back is just terrified that someone actually noticed.