Now it's the editorial page -- the Weekend in Review/Opinion section, where all that East Coast liberal sausage is made.
The April 10, 2010 New York Times will again call me "Mr. Steigerwald" when it carries this editorial on page WK9:

"The Truth About Charley"

"Bill Steigerwald has made an intriguing, if disheartening, discovery that seems to have eluded admirers and scholars of John Steinbeck for decades. Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley in Search of America” is shot through with dubious anecdotes and impossible encounters.

"Mr. Steigerwald, a former newspaperman, said he was planning to pay respectful tribute last year when he retraced Steinbeck’s 1960 journey — 10,000 miles from Long Island to Maine to California and back. But as he explained in a blog and an article in this month’s Reason magazine, facts got in the way...."

The Times won't win awards from the college literature professors of America who excuse Steinbeck's fact-fiddlings or argue that fiction and nonfiction are interchangeable and not worth trying to tell apart.

The Times says it straight and true:

"Steinbeck insisted his book was reality-based. He aimed to 'tell the small diagnostic truths which are the foundations of the larger truth.' Books labeled 'nonfiction' should not break faith with readers. Not now, and not in 1962, the year 'Travels With Charley' came out and Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for literature."

Not since the New York Times wrote a scathing attack on the idea of a federal income tax -- sometime in the late 19th century -- have I been in such absolute agreement with its editorial page. I feel like sending them a check.

If you didn't see the original piece, "A Reality Check for Steinbeck and Charley," by Charles McGrath in the April 4, 2010, New York Times Book section, here it is.

Here's my giddy-thankful reaction to it. And here's a link to the April Reason magazine piece that started it all. And here's the Dec. 4, 2010, Post-Gazette piece that appeared before that.