Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Fake News Metastasizing Into Fake History Too?

WaPo | Five historians recently wrote to the New York Times Magazine, asking the architects of its comprehensive 1619 Project, which tells the founding narrative of America through the lens of slavery, to issue several corrections. They argued that assertions in the 1619 package about the motivations that sparked the Revolutionary War and President Abraham Lincoln’s views on black equality were misleading.

“We ask that The Times, according to its own high standards of accuracy and truth, issue prominent corrections of all the errors and distortions presented in The 1619 Project,” wrote the five professors, from Princeton University, Texas State University, Brown University and the City University of New York.

In a lengthy response published online over the weekend, New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein addressed each concern from the professors but stood firmly behind the reporting and declined to correct it.

“Though we respect the work of the signatories, appreciate that they are motivated by scholarly concern and applaud the efforts they have made in their own writings to illuminate the nation’s past, we disagree with their claim that our project contains significant factual errors and is driven by ideology rather than historical understanding,” Silverstein wrote. “While we welcome criticism, we don’t believe that the request for corrections to The 1619 Project is warranted.”