Clark Hoyt, the public editor of the New York Times, took the editor of the Times' opinion page to task for having published the moronic ravings of Edward Luttwak on Obama. He concludes that the Times ought to be more responsible on factual questions. He writes:
The Times Op-Ed page, quite properly, is home to a lot of provocative opinions. But all are supposed to be grounded on the bedrock of fact. Op-Ed writers are entitled to emphasize facts that support their arguments and minimize others that don’t. But they are not entitled to get the facts wrong or to so mangle them that they present a false picture.
Sounds right to me. Two cheers for Hoyt.
But the editing job ought to beyond the straight up factual claims. Disregarding obvious countervailing evidence, which can happen when op-ed writers "stress" some facts and not others, is just as bad, if not in fact worse.