NY Times Editor Defends Saying Obama ‘Misspoke’: We Have ‘High Threshold’ for Lies
The New York Times got some heat over the weekend for an editorial saying President Obama “misspoke” about people keeping their health insurance policies if they liked them. Times public editor Margaret Sullivan addressed the complaints on Monday, and printed a brief defense from editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal.
Sullivan excerpted the flurry of negative responses in her blog, including a very pointed criticism by Greta Van Susteren. Sullivan reached out to Rosenthal for an explanation and this is what he had to say.
“We have a high threshold for whether someone lied,” he told me. The phrase that The Times used “means that he said something that wasn’t true.” Saying the president lied would have meant something different, Mr. Rosenthal said — that he knew it was false and intended to express the falsehood. “We don’t know that,” he said.
And while Sullivan did defend the paper from accusations that it’s been soft on President Obama, she did acknowledge that “misspoke” might have been quite an understatement.
[photo via Haxorjoe]
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