Monday, October 12, 2009

Much Ado About Anonymous Sources

While I think it's true that progressive bloggers don't get the respect from the White House or the Villagers that they deserve, when the instant mass outrage over an unsourced quote reported by John Harwood lit up Twitter and the blogs, my first reaction was this is probably not going to help. As it turns out, it's not even clear that the quote is real. The White House firmly denies that is came from them or reflects their thinking.

Of course, as has been rightly pointed out since, while the White House has reached out to bloggers as a useful tool to relay their messaging, they haven't exactly taken our concerns to heart nor I would add have they been all that inclusive in putting the progressive left into advisory positions of great consequence. There are many examples of dismissals of the 'far left' which are unfair and don't reflect the reality of the public temperment. However, I can't help but wonder if the left isn't falling into the same trap as the tradmed in racing to be first to report, at the expense of getting the facts straight first.

I confess I don't watch CNBC and I only vaguely know who Harwood is, but it strikes me that giving creedence to an unsourced slur about pajama clad bloggers contributes to the whole problem with the media today relying so heavily on "off the record" remarks. The way I see it, the only winner here was Harwood, who got the attention and the ensuing traffic for a bad piece of journalism. I'm thinking the better strategy would have been to ignore him. But what do I know? I'm just a B-list blogger who doesn't get invited on White House conference calls.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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