Clay Shirky, smartest guy in the room when it comes to Internet and society, reviews the mess that the New York Times finds itself in after an editor publicly questioned whether or not the Times should challenge “newsmakers” on dubious facts, for the Guardian:
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“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.”
Brisbane (who, as public editor, speaks only for himself, not the Times) referred to two recent stories: the claim that Clarence Thomas had “misunderstood” a financial reporting form when he left out key information, and Mitt Romney’s assertion that President Obama gives speeches “apologising” for America. Brisbane asked whether news reporters should have the freedom to investigate and respond to those comments.