Saturday, September 12, 2015

Letter to the Baltimore Sun: fact-checking op-ed pieces

The Baltimore Sun posted to their web site a letter I wrote them:

There's a pay wall, so I'm posting below the original text (for whatever reason, they revised it).


Dear Baltimore Sun,

I read Jonah Goldberg's op-ed piece in the September 6 edition ("Political correctness and the Wonder Woman lunchbox") with interest.  I thought his analysis was reasonable enough, but did the incident even happen?  The column cites the web site The Mary Sue, which found the story from a post on the social media site Imgur.  I found the original picture online without much trouble: it's a picture of a printed letter that could have been typed and printed by, well, anyone.  What is your fact-checking process for op-ed pieces?  Did you try to get a quote from the family involved, or to identify who they are, or to identify the school, or even the state in which the incident supposedly happened?

I understand I can't believe everything I read on the internet, but I had higher expectations for the Baltimore Sun.

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