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I read your newspaper for information and thoughtful commentary. Generally, your editorial writers are well informed and thoughtful. However, I am extremely disappointed that in your letters to the editor you make no effort to fact check what comes across your desk. Opinion in a letter is one thing, but when a letter writer passes off an egregious lie as fact it should be the duty of the editor to request revision. If the writer continues to deceive, the letters should be rejected. I worked for six years in a newspaper office, and it was routine for the staff to request revision, not only for fact checking but also for grammar, etc. If the writer refused, the letter would be rejected.
I have noticed that writers of radical political persuasions, both left and right, have had a tendency to make up facts. Perhaps they are merely passing on false political propaganda, indicating their lack of discernment. The latest case in point is the quote by Mr. Johnston, which appeared in your April 26 edition, concerning “section 922(t)(4)(B)(i) of Title 18 … ‘Grant THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER … BY REGULATION’.” No such passage exists. This was in my opinion (notice the word “opinion”) written to deliberately deceive. Letting such to pass through unchecked is shirking your responsibility as editor.
Such errors are extremely easy to detect and to check today with the instant information flow of reliable sources. For example, the original bills are almost always posted online before a vote in Congress is taken. The Cornell Law Library is also an excellent source. I am sure that your newspaper has many more reliable sources that you can tap.
You may object to this editorial as “censorship” and will refuse to request revision. That’s fine. There’s an alternate approach. The approach is to provide a fact check at the end of the letters which misleading statements passing as fact.