On Sat, 20 May 2017 12:17:43 -0700, Rudy Canoza says...
and there is nothing disreputable
about it in the least.
My GOD, you're a fucking idiot. What are you... 12?
Anonymous Sources: It's How Politicians Lie To Us
Why doesn't The New York Times follow it's OWN guidelines?
There is something seriously wrong when politicians can tell the media one
thing on the record then say the opposite anonymously.
The New York Times has a new policy on the use of anonymous sources in
reporting the news. Announced a week ago, the policy is designed to make
it harder for journalists to allow unnamed politicians and officials to
deliver stories that too often have proved to be at best skewed and at
worst just plain wrong. Among other things, journalists will be obliged to
tell senior editors the names of anonymous sources in their stories, so
editors can judge whether reporters are being manipulated and even lied to
by these shadowy no-name people.
Good on them. Mind you, The New York Times conducted a major review of the
paper's use of anonymous sources in 2007, when the then executive editor
Bill Keller apologized to readers for his paper's coverage of the lead-up
to the Iraq War.
The use of anonymous sources in Australian journalism, particularly in
political reporting, has not led to dire outcomes that rival the Judith
Miller fiasco, but there have been some pretty crook results nevertheless.
So much so that it might be time for journalists to have a look at the
rules of engagement between reporters and politicians, where the granting
of anonymity is concerned.
There is an urgent need for this, given that we are at the start of a
long election campaign, and that we have a disgruntled and embittered
former prime minister who told us he would not criticize his political
assassin, damage his government or brief anonymously against the man who
so grievously betrayed him.
There was, of course, another former prime minister who was disgruntled
and embittered and who made similar promises which he failed to keep -
just as the more recently deposed man has failed to keep his promises.
Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott have at least this in common.
It was not only the political class that was damaged by the leadership
rivalry between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, which reduced Australian
politics to a sort of reality show: I'm the prime minister ... get me out
of here. Journalism too was damaged because, in essence, the reporting of
the Rudd/Gillard rivalry involved an almost blanket use of anonymous
And, because according to the rules of engagement, once a politician is
granted anonymity, nothing he or she does or says can render the agreement
void, journalists reported stuff they knew to be untrue.
Here is one example of the way journalists were forced to retail untruths.
In the lead-up to his failed challenge against Gillard in 2011, Rudd
repeatedly said, on the record, that he was not counting numbers, not
plotting anything, had no supporters plotting for him, and that anyone who
said otherwise was not telling the truth.
But virtually every journalist in the press gallery knew this was not
entirely true. There is no doubt that Rudd and his supporters were
briefing journalists about their plans, about when a challenge might come,
about the level of their support. And clearly this planning and plotting
had been going on for some time, perhaps as far back as the 2010 election
campaign when a series of leaks against Gillard ensured that her
government would not win a majority of seats.
There is something seriously wrong with the rules of engagement when
politicians can say one thing on the record and then say the opposite
anonymously and get away with it. To allow this to stand is to put
journalists in a position where they have to report things they know are
The rules of engagement need to be changed. When politicians make
statements that contradict what they have told journalists off the record
or in background briefings, the granting of anonymity should no longer
This needs to be made clear to the political class and to audiences that
journalists are meant to serve.
It is in this context that Niki Savva's book The Road to Ruin is
important. It is a terrific book, but that's not the point here. The point
is that Savva does not rely on anonymous sources for her examination of
the relationship between Abbott and Peta Credlin. Her sources are named.
They speak for themselves. We know who they are and where they worked and
we know the terms and circumstances of their relationships with Abbott or
We know where they are coming from and can therefore judge the efficacy of
what they are saying. This is what makes it wrong to dismiss Savva's book
as gossip and innuendo. This is not true. It is an example of terrific
political reporting, basically because there are so few anonymous sources.
It is the sort of reporting we need as we head into those strange and
often unreal days of an election campaign, in particular a campaign that
will inevitably feel as if it is going to last forever.
STILL can't understand why liberal Democrats are so in love with Muslims.
Muslims are against abortion, contraception, pre-marital sex, they kill
homosexuals BY LAW and they treat women as slaves and chattel. Their old
men rape little boys and get away with it... oh, and they HATE you. Am I
leaving anything else out that you just LOVE about them?