Dec
05
2011

Anonymous Experts Agree: Newt Gingrich Is Smart, Caring

Many big papers have rules about when reporters can use anonymous sources. It should be rare, and the information generated should be important and difficult to get without granting a source the privilege to speak anonymously. Of course, reality is different–as Janine Jackson documented in the new issue of Extra!. Anonymous sources supposedly aren't allowed to abuse the privilege to attack someone–and they also aren't, as Jackson noted, supposed to do the opposite: Both papers officially caution against special pleading and spin, along with quotations, as the Post rules have it, "whose only purpose is to add color to a […]

Mar
01
2010

Death Panels–Again?

In a February 28 pieceheadlined, "Obama Ready to Move Forward on Healthcare Reform," the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut closed on a rather odd note: Republicans have expressed growing confidence heading into the midterm elections, with healthcare as a potential campaign tool. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele took the argument a step further, saying after the Thursday summit that it had been "a death panel for Obama-care." "If that wasn't enough, when you come out of this thing and you're looking at the reconciliation fight that may loom ahead of us, it certainly will have represented a death panel […]