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The rise and fall of facts

from Columbia Journalism Review

In his 1964 Harper's Magazine article on fact-checking, "There Are 00 Trees in Russia," Otto Friedrich related the story of an unnamed magazine correspondent who had been assigned a profile of Egyptian president Mohamed Naguib. As was custom, he wrote his story leaving out the "zips" — facts to be filled in later — including noting that Naguib was "such a modest man that his name did not appear among the 000 people listed in Who's Who in the Middle East" and that he elected not to live in the royal palace, surrounded "by an 00-foot-high wall." more


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