Arthur S. Brisbane, the Public Editor of New York Times, has asked an amazing question: "Should modern-day journalists, you know, actually care whether an assertion made by a politician is true or not? Should the challenge something that might be untrue before they print it and tell the whole world about it?"
The amazing part, of course, is that the New York Times had to ask it.
Especially given that during the run up to the Iraq war, the NYT blindly printed everything fed to it by the Bush Administration, uncritically and without wondering if any of the information might not be, you know, true.
I'm reminded of the following snippet from Colbert's White House Correspondents Dinner routine:
``But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know — fiction!''