Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Fact-Checking New York Times Book Essays

I just sent this to the ombudsman (Daniel Okrent) of The New York Times:

Dear Mr. Okrent,

I am an author and blogger...and avid reader of fiction and non-fiction about Orthodox Judaism.

Many of the facts alleged by Wendy Shalit in her Sunday essay are shaky at best. For instance, author Tova Mirvis has spent her entire life in Orthodox Judaism, yeshiva education here and in Israel. Etc.

I'm wondering if any fact-checking was done on her piece or other pieces like it in the Books section.

I've spoken to people in Shalit's piece. No fact-checker, nor Wendy, ever contacted them to verify facts.

It seems like book essays are not subject to fact checking. Do you think that is a problem?

Your sincerely,

Luke Ford