Rick Santorum

David Gregory Should Tell Rick Santorum There Are UN Inspectors in Iran

Rick Santorum is running as the "more AIPAC than thou" candidate. But David Gregory wants people to think of him as a "journalist." We can hold David Gregory to a higher standard.

On Sunday, Republican Presidential Rick Santorum told David Gregory on NBC's "Meet the Press" that, unlike President Obama, he would "be saying to the Iranians, you either open up those [nuclear] facilities, you begin to dismantle them and, and make them available to inspectors, or we will degrade those facilities through airstrikes and make it very public that we are doing that."

David Gregory did not challenge Santorum's statement. But Gregory knows - or should know - that Iran's nuclear facilities are already under the inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Politicians will say whatever they can get away with, but journalists have an obligation to correct serious misstatements of fact.

Of course, one can try to come up with excuses for why David Gregory didn't correct the record. Let's consider some potential excuses, and why they are no good.

"Journalists can't correct everything candidates say." This was a one-on-one interview, and the topic of discussion was Iran's nuclear program, and Rick Santorum's claims that he would be tougher than President Obama in confronting Iran about its nuclear program. Is there another context where it would be more appropriate for David Gregory to correct the record about what is known about Iran's nuclear program?