When Forbes published a cover story this month by Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative author, asserting that President Obama is opposed to free markets and traditional American values because he inherited his father’s anticolonial beliefs, all the media tripwires were set off: enthusiastic support by conservative commentators like Glenn Beck, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, and an uproar among liberal bloggers and columnists.
But after a meeting last week with the White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, the magazine, which initially defended the article, agreed to a post-publication fact-checking process to see if an apology or a correction was warranted, according to Bill Burton, a White House spokesman.
Monie Begley, a spokeswoman for Forbes, said that the magazine’s Washington bureau chief, who was not involved in the article, had met with Mr. Gibbs but that the decision to check the article was made not in response to the White House but to the general clamor in the news media.
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In one sense, the episode was a cautionary tale for the new media age, which finds traditional media outlets like Forbes responding both to the economic imperatives of the digital age by cutting staff and to the editorial imperatives by bringing in more outside voices — Mr. D’Souza is not a staff writer — and sometimes elevating opinion above rigorous reporting.
Read More: By Tim Arango, NYT