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AJC editor: okay to print falsehoods

This is very odd: Cynthia Tucker, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's editorial-page editor, says the paper shouldn't worry about whether letters it publishes are factually accurate.

Here's Tucker's explanation, which comes in a piece by public editor Angela Tuck:

Editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker once believed all letters should be factually accurate, but now she's more likely to let readers have their say and let others decide whether the letter writer is indeed stating facts.

"I believe there is such a thing as an objective truth, but a lot of readers have an objective truth that differs from mine," she said. [emph. added]

"We live in such a politically polarized age that not everybody agrees on the facts. My letters policy tends to be a bit looser than those of some other editorial page editors. I believe as long as they are willing to sign their names to it, and it's not violent or libelous, we should print them."

Tucker says the AJC has printed many letters from readers insisting that PeachCare has run out of money because so many illegal immigrants are on the rolls. "That's not true, but if we don't print those letters, those readers will believe we're biased," she said. [emph. added]

In other words: Tucker is willing to print assertions she knows are untrue because she doesn't want people to accuse her or the ed page of being liberal.

That's depressing stuff.

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