I kid you not.
Apparently, the Times does not believe, as a matter of its DNA, that if a person in a suit says something, it has any duty to check it out and report on whether that statement is factual.
Writes the Public Editor:
I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.
….on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney often says President Obama has made speeches “apologizing for America,” a phrase to which Paul Krugman objected in a December 23 column arguing that politics has advanced to the “post-truth” stage.
As an Op-Ed columnist, Mr. Krugman clearly has the freedom to call out what he thinks is a lie. My question for readers is: should news reporters do the same?
If so, then perhaps the next time Mr. Romney says the president has a habit of apologizing for his country, the reporter should insert a paragraph saying, more or less:
“The president has never used the word ‘apologize’ in a speech about U.S. policy or history. Any assertion that he has apologized for U.S. actions rests on a misleading interpretation of the president’s words.”
Actually, a better form of that paragraph would be
“The president has never used the word ‘apologize’ in a speech about U.S. policy or history. When asked, the Romney Campaign was unable to substantiate Romney’s claim with any examples.”
Brisbane’s column is a head-scratcher. I have never seen such a succinct example of the Stenography Theory of journalism. I do not know how on earth any news organization intends to get money from me on an on-going basis if all it does is an aggregation that my RSS reader can do plus some ordering of importance — which some content-recognition AI will do for me within a decade.
Fact-checking or ruin, people.