The New York Times new public editor, Margaret Sullivan, used her first column to let readers know that she thinks fact checking is a good idea.
Sullivan wanted to clear the air after her predecessor, Arthur Brisbane, created a firestorm in January when he questioned whether or not it’s possible to be objective and fair when the reporter is choosing which facts to correct and how to correct them.
Brisbane’s column made the Times the object of ridicule from liberals who bristled at the notion that they may not always be reporting the truth.
While Sullivan didn’t mention Brisbane by name she did take a swipe at him.
Whatever the conclusions, whatever the effectiveness of challenging facts, the idea that we have to debate the necessity of doing so strikes me as absurd.
While it’s good to know that Sullivan is a believer in the truth and fact checking, only time will tell whether or not her position becomes the prevailing way of thinking at the Times from this point forward.