True Fact: The New York Times Does Not Know What Journalism Is Or What a Journalists' Job Is

That can be the only explanation for this column by the Times' public editor, Arthur S. Brisbane: "Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?"
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.

...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."

That approach is what one reader was getting at in a recent message to the public editor. He wrote:
My question is what role the paper's hard-news coverage should play with regard to false statements – by candidates or by others. In general, the Times sets its documentation of falsehoods in articles apart from its primary coverage. If the newspaper's overarching goal is truth, oughtn't the truth be embedded in its principal stories? In other words, if a candidate repeatedly utters an outright falsehood (I leave aside ambiguous implications), shouldn't the Times's coverage nail it right at the point where the article quotes it?
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. ... 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?
OMFG. If I had asked these questions of my high school newspaper faculty adviser, she would have sent me back to retake Journalism 101. This is deeply embarrassing stuff. Or should be.

I don't even know how Brisbane can frame this scenario as a "reporter choosing to correct one fact over another." Does he know what the meaning of the word fact actually is? If it needs correction, it ain't a fact.

And howsabout the radical idea of not picking and choosing which not-facts to identify and/or correct, but identifying and/or correcting them all.

Meanwhile, Brisbane wants to know if a "separate fact-check sidebar" is insufficient. YES IT IS! "Do you like this feature, or would you rather it be incorporated into regular reporting?" Literally, the public editor of the "paper of record" just asked the paper's readership if they want accuracy inserted into their reporting.

That explains everything. *jumps into Christmas tree*

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