Where's the letter fact-checking?

Posted11/1/2012 5:00 AM

If I wrote a letter to the Herald charging that Mitt Romney had swindled dozens of elderly folks out of their life savings -- shocking! -- would you print the letter without checking its truthfulness? Of course not! That would be irresponsible, and very unfair to Mr. Romney. We would expect more of a newspaper.

Yet when a letter arrived (Lawrence Boni, Oct. 12) accusing President Obama of refusing to allow the Marine guards at the embassy to carry ammunition -- shocking! -- you printed it, no questions asked. Five minutes with any of several respected sources, including the Marines, would have shown you it was an outright lie invented by right-wing Obama-haters to embarrass him and influence his re-election.

I do not blame Mr. Boni for the lie. The false charge about the Marines was all over the Internet, all based on a false report by a right-wing blog. (Even Fox News reported and then debunked the story.) I blame the Herald. When the Herald prints lies and scurrilous accusations without checking their truthfulness, even on its editorial pages, it gives credence to the lies. You were disrespectful to your readers and unfair to President Obama. You should not have printed the letter.

Stephen Loh

Hoffman Estates

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