by Zoë Pollock
One of the basic functions of journalism is to say: This is true, and that is false. There are other functions, but establishing bedrock "world is round / sun rises in the east / 1+ 1 = 2" verities is a big one.
In today's political environment, when so many simple facts are disputed, journalists can feel abashed about stating plainly what is true. With an anticipatory cringe about the angry letters they will receive or the hostile blog posts that will appear, they instead cover themselves by writing, "according to most scientists, the sun rises in the east, although critics say...." ... It's one thing for Stephen Colbert et al to joke about the new age of "truthiness," but it's something different to see a writer lay out, with facts and history, what the truth of an issue is.
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