I am occasionally criticized for not having my facts right. Most of the time the critics haven’t checked theirs. I usually check two sources but from time to time I am caught out usually because I repeated something I have believed true for a long time and so didn’t have to check, because of the circumstances was un-checkable (such as a long ago conversation) or because I am guessing. In regard to the last I could plead the fact that I am a very bright autodidact and so my guesses are often inspired. But at the same time I admit I’m inclined to pass along a story simply because it is a good story.
So I can only cite the example of Kelvin MacKenzie the editor of the British Sun who published what is perhaps the most famous headline ever in the English language
Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster
A story that was wholly untrue but when called on it and others just as phony Mackensize said this: When I published those stories, they were not lies. They were great stories that later turned out to be untrue – and that is different.