Quote goodbye quote

A letter to the editor of the Oklahoman, published Saturday:

How many times have you read this statement in an Associated Press story: “According to an aide who was not authorized to discuss the plan and spoke on condition of anonymity,” or something similar? When the AP uses this source for a story, it is their way of shaping the news. Read “Dems have plan to reopen govt” (Associated Press, Jan. 1). If you want to say something provocative that will motivate a particular group of people and you don’t want to have to take responsibility for your words, just use the “spoke on condition of anonymity” ploy, you get your fake news out, and you never have to defend what you’ve said. Beautiful. Just like this letter to the editor, The Oklahoman would not print it if I refused to attach my name to it.

I am of two minds about this. One of the first rules of journalism is that you never, ever burn a source; then again, secrecy of this sort is why we have a Deep State in the first place. Steve Monroe, who wrote the above letter, certainly has an opinion on the matter.

5 comments »

  1. McGehee »

    6 January 2019 · 8:23 pm

    It really depends on the subject matter. Any schmo can dish anonymous gossip, and if I wouldn’t burn a source of that stuff, I also wouldn’t pass it along. Not in detail — maybe something along the lines of, “X campaign, just like every campaign, has some low-life gossipmonger who thinks anybody gives a $#!+ that political pukes also puke about things besides politics.”

    An honest-to-God whistleblower, on the other hand…

  2. Francis W. Porretto »

    7 January 2019 · 4:14 am

    The journalistic “sacred principle” not to reveal a source is the root of all fake news and other forms of journalistic deceit. It does not protect the public; it protects the journalist from being found out for his dishonesty. This is especially virulent when the unnamed source is used to promote an editorially approved position. The wonder of it is that the “sacredness” of “never reveal a source” is so widely accepted among the general public. In God’s name: WHY?

    Never, ever trust a man who refuses to stand behind his words.

  3. hollyh »

    7 January 2019 · 8:02 am

    Francis, I’d agree with you, if the government were honest and benevolent. But if not, we The People have to learn things via leaks. And the leakers need protection.

  4. McGehee »

    7 January 2019 · 9:28 am

    When journos and the Derp State are in cahoots, it gets even worse.

  5. Francis W. Porretto »

    7 January 2019 · 3:55 pm

    Holly, the “government” is on the side of these “spoke on condition of anonymity” types far more often than otherwise. The media are on the side of Big Government / The Deep State. The genuine whistleblowers are (nominally at least) protected by law. If they’re persecuted by the Omnipotent State anyway, there’s only one remedy, which leads me to ask: How well armed are you, and how well do you shoot?

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