Lying Sources

LYING SOURCES….Atrios raises a serious question. I wasn’t paying much attention to the news yesterday, but even to me it’s obvious that a “confidential but persuasive source” systematically called a bunch of reporters and deliberately misled them about who George Bush was planning to nominate to the Supreme Court. In fact, the calls were so systematic and deliberate that it was obviously part of a White House plan. (A fairly clever and effective one, I might add.)

There are two options here: either (1) the source was honestly misled by the White House or else (2) the source was a knowing part of the misinformation plan. This means that every reporter who heard from this source should call back and give the source two choices: if it’s (1), give up the White House informant. If it’s (2), forfeit their anonymity.

Sources who risk their jobs to provide information to the press deserve every protection a reporter can give them. Even a source who spins deserves protection. But a source who lies ought to be unmasked by any honest reporter. Who will be the first to do it?

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