As best we can tell, the following column in the New York Times is not a joke:
In other words, the NYT’s ombudsman, Arthur Brisbane, appears to be seriously asking the paper’s readers whether they want it to tell them the truth.
The only other option, it would seem, would be for the paper to just be a propaganda bullhorn for anyone who wants publicity.
The fact that the NYT has to ask readers that question seems mind-boggling.
But I suppose that, instead of being stunned, we should be grateful.
After all, it is in part the NYT’s uncertainty about whether it should tell readers the truth or just pass on PR crap that creates an opportunity for sites like ours.
UPDATE: Mr. Brisbane’s question, apparently, was more subtle–and actually did not deal with demonstrable “facts” so much as characterizations (Romney’s persistent statement that Obama is “apologizing for America,” for example). There’s no fact there to prove wrong–Romney presumably doesn’t mean that Obama is actually saying “I’m sorry”–so the question then is not about “truth” but “fairness.” And in this particular case, no, the paper should not be obligated to say whether or not it thinks that Romney’s characterization is fair.
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