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What if an anonymous source lied to you?

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  • What if an anonymous source lied to you?

    Unreliable Source

    The Washington Post, like many news organizations, says it is trying to crack down on the use of anonymous sources. But the paper allowed a "senior administration official" to spin the story of the slow response to Katrina -- with a claim that turned out to be false.

    On Sept. 4, the paper cited the "senior Bush official" as saying that as of the day before, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco "still had not declared a state of emergency." As The Post noted in a correction, Blanco, a Democrat, had declared a state of emergency on Aug. 26.

    Liberal bloggers have unloaded on The Post. Wrote Arianna Huffington: "Why were the Post reporters so willing to blindly accept the words of an administration official who obviously had a partisan agenda -- and to grant the official anonymity?"

    Post National Editor Michael Abramowitz calls the incident "a bad mistake" that happened right on deadline. "We all feel bad about that," he says. "We should not have printed the information as background information, and it should have been checked. We fell down on the desk."

    Spencer Hsu, the article's co-author, says he "tried to make clear that the source came from the administration, and that he was blaming the locals, which I believe our story made clear and broke ground in explaining by uncovering the National Guard dispute."

    Should the paper identify the source who provided bad information? "We don't blow sources, period, especially if we don't have reason to believe the source in this case actually lied deliberately," Hsu says.

    -=--=-=-=-=

    This seems to me to set a precedent that you can lie repeatedly and never be called on it, never worry about recrimination. Thoughts?
    Dude. Can. Fly.

  • #2
    At the same time, if as a journalist you reveal an anonymous source, you aren't getting any future leaks.
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    • #3
      They screwed up. Shouldn't they have been able to verify when she declared an emergency in a manner other than a freakin' anonymous WH source?

      Originally posted by dvyyyyyy@Sep 12 2005, 09:29 AM
      This seems to me to set a precedent that you can lie repeatedly and never be called on it, never worry about recrimination. Thoughts?
      One would hope that this particular source would no longer be a source. You know, fool me twice, you don't get fooled twice in Tennessee, etc.

      Arianna Huffington: "Why were the Post reporters so willing to blindly accept the words of an administration official who obviously had a partisan agenda -- and to grant the official anonymity?"
      Lazy/on deadline/too much pressure/source was trustworthy based on the past/why would they lie about something like that when it's easily checked out/other token journalism excuse.

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      • #4
        You should slash his throat.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Celtic@Sep 12 2005, 08:45 AM
          You should slash his throat.

          I just got that. Good stuff.
          Dude. Can. Fly.

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          • #6
            You'd have to be pretty sure the source lied deliberately.
            "Need some wood?" -- George W. Bush, October 8, 2004

            "Historians will judge if this war is just, not your punk ass." -- Dave Glover, December 8, 2004

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            • #7
              Now, now...a lie is a lie is a lie. The Post should be liquidated. They lied! Put them out of business! Doesn't matter if their source gave them bad information and they believed it; They lied to the public! They did it deliberately!

              Dat's right!

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              • #8
                "Why were the Post reporters so willing to blindly accept the words of an administration official who obviously had a partisan agenda -- and to grant the official anonymity?"
                ++

                That just seems stupid on their part.

                Obvious axe to grind.
                Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by madyaks@Sep 12 2005, 12:26 PM
                  "Why were the Post reporters so willing to blindly accept the words of an administration official who obviously had a partisan agenda -- and to grant the official anonymity?"
                  ++

                  That just seems stupid on their part.

                  Obvious axe to grind.

                  Fucking liberal media.

                  Mr. G

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