...says, er, the Daily Mail, defending itself against accusations as the complaints to the Press Complaints Commission (of which Paul Dacre is a significant figure) about the (Paul Dacre-edited) Daily Mail, and stories about gay adoption. Don't Get Mad Get Accurate is a fascinating look into how the PCC works (or doesn't) for complainants, and the weasel tactics used to try and excuse things that people do complain about.
The PCC said:
While the column had been phrased in stark terms - the journalist had made one claim which was prefaced by "the fact is", for example - the author's claims would nonetheless be recognised by readers as comment rather than unarguable fact.
So while Phillips said 'the fact is', Phillips's readers would know she wasn't trying to say something like 'the fact is'; she was quite obviously (and only a simpleton wouldn't know this) saying 'I think'.
So there you have it. When Melanie Phillips says 'the fact is', it's reasonable to assume she is not stating a fact. According to her employers.