Is it True?

My grandmother used to ask, “Is it true, or did you read it in the paper?”

One thing I have observed is that, in general, the more I know personally about a news story, the more inaccurate I know it to be.

I remember an article in a local paper about Christ Church Canaan that said the building was World War I era. It was actually built in 1846, but the reporter never asked and judged by a nearby statue of a World War I dough boy. Another article about the church said the interior walls were painted white. They were actually blue, but the reporter hadn’t been inside.

In today’s New York Times, an article in the Connecticut section, page 8, tells us that “the earliest sap runs have the highest sugar content … As the season progresses, the sugar content of the sap typically goes down.” The Magazine section, on the other hand tells us on page 62, “at the beginning of the season, when the sugar content is low . . .”

I have written to the New York Times to ask, “So which is it? High sugar content early or low? They can’t both be right!” But I am not holding my breath for a reply.

Meanwhile, I wonder what I really know from the papers about Iraq or American politics or the things that matter.

Leave a comment

Your comment