BOSTON (CBS) – At this rate, when future historians look back on our era they may see it as the time when the fact died.

You know what a fact is, don’t you?

Webster’s calls it “something that truly exists or happens: a true piece of information.” In other words, the opposite of that infamous Rolling Stone article based on a female student’s account of a horrendous assault at the University of Virginia.

A lengthy investigation of that fiasco by the dean of the Columbia Journalism School found that Rolling Stone needed a hook for their story about alleged campus indifference to such crimes and didn’t care at all about verifying what they were told, failing to contact people implicated by their source and otherwise displaying contempt for basic journalistic procedures.

Their attitude – why let facts get in the way of a good story?

A UVA fraternity libeled by the story is now considering litigation because Rolling Stone “failed to verify facts” that turned out to be false, and by the time their lawyers are finished, the magazine’s editors may have a new appreciation for the importance of true facts.

But the true fact is, we all could use a refresher course in their value.

That goes for the wingnuts who still claim our president wasn’t born here, thankfully-soon-to-be-former Senator Harry Reid and his lies about Mitt Romney’s tax returns, and all the other partisans who’ve made ignoring facts and spreading falsehoods the new national pastime.

They are all Rolling Stone.

They trash our discourse and soil our culture every time they substitute slander for truth.

And that’s a fact.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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