A simple question for the Washington Post

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

For months, I've been trying to get key Washington Post journalists to answer a basic question: Does the Post think it is sufficient to occasionally debunk falsehoods, or does the paper believe it should do so every time it prints those falsehoods?

It's a simple question, but nobody seems to want to answer it. I've submitted that question to countless "Live Q&A" sessions hosted by Post media critic Howard Kurtz, executive editor Marcus Brauchli, and managing editors Raju Narisetti and Liz Spayd. But none of them have ever answered the question. Kurtz's refusal to do so is particularly glaring, as he ducked the question once by demanding an example of the Post failing to correct a falsehood -- and has subsequently ignored questions that contain such an example. (Here's some background.)

Narisetti is conducting a Q&A session at 1 PM today, so I'm trying yet again to get an answer. Here's the question I submitted earlier this morning:

This is roughly the 20th time I have submitted a variation on this question to Live Q&As held by you, Liz Spayd, Marcus Brauchli, and Howard Kurtz, so I hope you'll answer it: Does the Washington Post think it is sufficient to debunk false claims once, or does the Post think it should debunk false claims every time it prints them?

Mr. Kurtz has praised the Post's handling of the "Death Panels" lie -- but the Post has printed numerous articles that refer to "death panels" without making clear that the charge is false. (E.g.: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/27/AR201002...)

So, again: Do you think it is sufficient to debunk a false claim once, or should the Post do so every time it prints that claim?

If you'd like to submit your own version of this question, you can do so here.

UPDATE: Narisetti just wrapped up, and didn't see fit to answer my question, though he did find time to say the Post should have covered the bogus NBPP story sooner, to comment on the frequency of Live Q&A sessions, and to answer a subscriber's question about an undelivered newspaper.

I honestly have no idea why Posties would be so afraid of answering this simple little question.

The Washington Post
Howard Kurtz, Marcus Brauchli, Raju Narisetti, Liz Spayd
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