Meaning: ignore people like Palin when they talk about death panels. But of course ignoring something because it is false is making a judgement, which some journalists seem loathe to do. If the mainstream press did choose to ignore stories like this, it would just enable supporters to claim it’s something the “media elites” don’t want people to know about.

Schafer raised another problem with this advice.

“There is a practical question of: What political journalist in August of 2009 isn’t going to cover the death panel claim just because they already debunked it?” he said. “It’s tough to say to a journalist, ‘If you’re really trying to serve the public best, then don’t cover this anymore.’ It’s like telling them to sit out the big game.”

Taken together, all of these factors have led me to end up in a rather conflicted and frustrated situation. The challenges are clear and well documented.

The solutions, however, are not.

Correction of the Week

“An article on Thursday about technology investments by the actor Ashton Kutcher misspelled in some copies the name of a fashion Web site in his portfolio. It is Fashism, not Fascisms.” - The New York Times

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Craig Silverman is the editor of RegretTheError.com and the author of Regret The Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute the Press and Imperil Free Speech. He is also the editorial director of OpenFile.ca and a columnist for the Toronto Star.