Washington Post doesn’t care much for accuracy

When news media make errors — even if only in opinion columns — what is the responsibility for issuing corrections? For the Washington Post, the editorial page department doesn’t seem to accept much responsibility.

In his Washington Post column On Fox News, Election 2010 is cause for cheer, columnist Dana Milbank wrote: “To be fair and balanced, Fox brought in a nominal Democrat, pollster Doug Schoen.”

Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly noted the error in this statement, and listed the prominent Democrats who appeared on Fox News that day: Geraldine Ferraro, Bob Beckel, Joe Trippe, Juan Williams, Kirsten Powers, Pat Caddell, and Schoen.

Milbank must have seen at least one of these Democrats besides Schoen, as his newspaper’s website said he watched Fox News for 18 hours straight. And on a video presentation showing Milbank’s 18 hour viewing adventure, Beckel and Williams appear in the Fox News footage used to illustrate the pain Milbank endured as he watched that network all day long.

On his show, O’Reilly said he asked Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of the Washington Post, about his responsibility to make sure errors like this don’t happen, or to order Milbank to write a correction. O’Reilly told his audience that Hiatt said he had no responsibility, that he did not have a problem with Milbank’s column, and that if O’Reilly wanted to write a letter they’d consider it.

O’Reilly asked his viewers and guest Bernard Goldberg “How corrupt does it have to get?”

2 Comments

  • Dana Millbank had plenty of company watching Fox News Network November 2. Their ratings dwarfed those of CNN & MSNBC. I also would have been watching, but I don’t have cable. Watching the 3 old networks was like water torture, because the analysts (particularly on ABC) were grasping for liberal straws to avoid talking about the elephant in the room–the conservative Republican landslide that was going on all around the country.

  • great comment on water torture, Daniel. That’s about all the national evening news is nowadays. Pretense. Denial. Fabrication.

    Next the “journalists” will throw in a few cover-ups to make things “look pretty.”

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