There's a lot of buzz today about the New York Times' "public editor" wondering if journalists should be a truth squad instead of just reporters. My reaction was the same as the Minuteman: as long as the "truth to power" only goes in one direction, the readership at the NY Times will be docile as sheep.
But then crusty James Fallows had to go and prove the point. Why of course journalists should challenge the "facts" and here's his example:
For an "it even happens at NPR" real-world example, consider a report last month on what's gone wrong with Congress. It quoted Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, who with straight face mourned the unpredictability of today's politics: "Washington needs to stop adding confusion and more uncertainty to people's lives."With a straight face, NPR let Cantor get away with that...that...lie! It couldn't possibly be that the House majority leader was referring to the uncertainty of going almost 1000 days without a budget from the Senate. Or the uncertainty of continuing resolutions because the President's budget was unanimously rejected by the same budget-less Senate. Or that big question mark hanging over our heads as to whether the rating agencies will issue another downgrade because of our ever-rising debt. Or the endless slog of this jobless recovery after blowing through almost a trillion in "stimulus" cash.
The reason why NPR didn't ask Cantor about "uncertainty" is because he would have told them.
Bonus - Doug Ross: "Fun coincidence: Obama's SOTU address will mark 1,000 days without Democrats passing a budget."