Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?

By ARTHUR S. BRISBANE, The New York Times

January 12, 2012, 10:29 am

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.

This message was typical of mail from some readers who, fed up with the distortions and evasions that are common in public life, look to The Times to set the record straight. They worry less about reporters imposing their judgment on what is false and what is true.

Is that the prevailing view? And if so, how can The Times do this in a way that is objective and fair? Is it possible to be objective and fair when the reporter is choosing to correct one fact over another? Are there other problems that The Times would face that I haven’t mentioned here?


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  1. I’d bet money that Greenwald by his lonesome induced that piece of soul-searching.

    I haven’t physically touched the NYT in about 12 years, but before that I used to buy it daily at newsstand prices.  Even Sundays.  At some point, I managed to refuse to be their crap-headed revenue stream.

  2. “We are grateful to the lamestream propaganda outlets for their participation in our social engineering agendas”.

    Yeah, so I paraphrased a little bit.

    • RUKind on January 13, 2012 at 10:26

    We’re in an election cycle with Romney and Gingrich in high profile. In roder to point out facts, a reporter would have to resort to historic positions and quotes of at least two people who come down on three sides of a two sided issue. How do you inject facts into a cohesive, easily digestible number of column inches.

    Then there’s the problem of repeated lies so you’d have the same boiler-plate truth for each repeat lie. I don’t think it would work.

    Americans lie in their lives (see income tax deductions for charity) and they expect lies and exaggerations from their politicians. The problem is with Mittens and Newt the situation is getting absurd. Then again, this is primary season and not the general so more is apt to slide.

    I expect the truth to start getting hammered out in the general. At that point it would be incumbent upon the reporters to report lies as such. Until then, it’s laissez-faire BS all the way.


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