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.