Katie's Notebook: The Obama Story That Wasn't

Hi, everyone.

Last week, a magazine called Insight printed a story claiming that Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama was enrolled for "at least four years" in an Indonesian "madrassa," a school that promotes radical Islam.

Fox News repeated the story twice.

It was a shocking story. A story that flew across the country on the wings of a million emails. But it was also a false story.

Obama was never enrolled in a madrassa. And during the years he lived in Indonesia--with a nonpracticing Christian mother and a nonpracticing Muslim stepfather--he attended two schools, one secular, the other Catholic. In fact, Obama has never been a Muslim.

This episode was an important reminder for all of us in the news business,particularly as we enter a presidential campaign.

Let's resist the temptation to repeat unsourced gossip. Let's fact-check first and broadcast second.

In other words: we should report BEFORE we decide.

That's a page from my notebook.
  • Katie Couric

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