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.”
I say interesting in the disbelieving-laughing-my-ass-off-is-this-guy-for-real vein because to many people, certainly most journalists, that’s not a real question.
And if it were a real question the immediate, no-brainer, if I don’t get another answer correct on this J-class final I will get this one response would be: hell, yes you challenge facts as represented by authority. Or anyone else you talk with or interview. Even if said newsmaker gets all pouty on you. 1
I mean, WTF?
Suppose, for the sake of argument, the NYT had questioned the facts on Judith Miller’s infamous reportage. Is it possible had Miller done some fact-checking she could have forstalled or even prevented the illegal US invasion and occupation of Iraq? A decade-long error in judgement that drained our economy of a trillion off-the-books dollars, dollars needed but not there to fend of the subsequent recession caused by running two wars? 2
And that’s just one story.
Hell, that Art even has to pose the question begs his paper’s ineffectiveness.
You should check out the post, if only for the readers’ commentary. 3
THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE: The Astas have been read to (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince), been trounced at Sorry! and sent off to bed. Which means I finally had time to scour the Internetz, whereupon I discovered Jay Rosen’s comprehensive take on Art’s faux pas. It is a must read.
- Hard to believe Art’s been gone so long he forgot his old motto, Ad astra per aspera. Although, really – is someone pulling a sulk or faux outrage actually difficult to overcome? Please… ↩
- As well as the bank/wall street/stock market/mortgage “misjudgement”. ↩
- Which are more subtle variations on my WTF!!!! ↩