What now? Well, it would be nice if KLAS offered a prominent apology and a lengthy, fully researched special report on the value to society of childhood immunization. But misinformation, once out there, is—as fellow United States Project writer Brendan Nyhan has explained—extremely difficult to counteract with facts alone. KLAS would do well to review Nyhan’s tips for journalists for covering false or unsupported claims—including, tip one: get the story right the first time.

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John Mecklin is the California and Nevada correspondent for the United States Project, CJR's politics and policy desk. He is the deputy editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Follow him on Twitter @meckdevil.