Like lemmings to the sea, the blogsphere is all abuzz because a bunch of people are reporting anonymous sources are saying the White House wants a trigger in the final bill to keep Senator Olympia Snowe’s vote.
Of course the White House denies this, and Valerie Jarrett is on record saying so, but those anonymous sources; Senior Democratic aides, Senate staffers “familiar” with a meeting, keep saying otherwise.
And journalists, in their never ending desire to sell newspaper and bring traffic to their site, are running with their journalistic malpractice of making stories without independent confirmation, just anonymous sources, reminding me once again why I want out of the journalism business.
It wouldn’t surprise me that most of the blogsphere today never sat in a Journalism 101 class in college, because if they did, they would not be throwing fire around because of anonymous sources, they’d be asking the reporters to give them indepedent confirmation, on record confirmation, of these stories.
It wouldn’t surprise me because the blogsphere has an agenda, and if anonymous sources are agreeing with their point of view, then to hell with journalism, I got an anonymous source.
As a former journalist, let me explain how anonymous sources work…when you get an anonymous sources, they give you what’s called a tip…this tip is unconfirmed information you use to continue your investigation. You look for confirmation from someone you can put on record, or some document, or something you can use to back up the anonymous source. When you find said confirmation, you run with it, with a line like;
“A senior aid said; “X” which was confirmed by Y” or “A memo leaked from the White House confirms what anonymous sources told XNews”
You don’t run to print with just anonymous sources like everyone in the past few days has done…unless, of course, your goal is to trigger outrage or make the leadership look incompetent…or you want to watch people draw their own ridiculous conclusions;
This morning, we hear reports that Obama will support whichever ‘public’ plan first receives 60 supporters, whether this be the ‘triggered’ public option or the opt-out. It is hard to read this statement as anything other than a thinly-veiled expression of his preference for the trigger, at least at this stage of the process.
Like saying, this morning it’s cloudy, therefore it is hard to read this as anything but the sky being white.
In the meantime as not-so-subtle threats of primary challengers, and PUMA’s doing their “I told you so” dance suck up the oxygen on the internet over the weekend, the White House and Senate leadership are tirelessly working, like every government in the past has, lining up votes for a bill.
Maybe if the netroots didn’t find themselves in a coniption over ever little anonymous source, maybe they’d have more sway with Rahm Emanuel. Because if I were White House Chief of Staff, I sure as hell would be ignoring them right now.