Fact, noun, the quality of being actual, the truth.
The March 12 editorial in The Independent by Joan Seppala defended the false headline from Feb. 27, which read “County Supervisors Ask Court to Dismiss City’s Case Against Central Park Initiative.”
Contrary to the headline, the Alameda Board of Supervisors did not ask for the lawsuit to be dismissed. This is a fact substantiated independently by Livermore’s city attorney. State law required that the Board of Supervisors be named in the suit, and they simply asked to be removed. In no way did the Board of Supervisors ask for the suit to be dismissed. The headline is simply not true.
The editorial also stated that the city sued “local residents for stating their opinion.”
That also is false. In order to protect the accuracy of the election materials, the city elections official sued representatives of the central park group, Friends of Livermore, Committee to Protect…, etc., because in their ballot statement they specifically labeled their “opinions” as facts. People are entitled to their own opinions, but it is dishonest to represent those opinions as facts.
It appears to me that The Independent is defending the rights of different organizations to express their opinions and label them as facts. An editorial is an opinion. If something is presented as “news,” it should be based on facts. In her editorial, Seppala cites the importance of a free press. A free press is of little use to the public if it cannot differentiate facts from opinion.