Anonymous Outrage Holds No Water

Jonathan Swan, reporting for Axios:

But a senior White House official told Axios that when they saw the tear gas clearing the crowd for Trump to walk to the church with his entourage: “I’ve never been more ashamed. I’m really honestly disgusted. I’m sick to my stomach. And they’re all celebrating it. They’re very very proud of themselves.”

Washington Post reporter Tony Romm:

Some people don’t deserve background sourcing. There’s a reason we describe the “why” every time we use it. Standards are important.

This is no little thing. Think about the unwritten “why” for this “senior White House official” being granted anonymity for this quote. Well, they’d be fired immediately if they put their name on it. But why protect your job if you’re “ashamed”, “honestly disgusted”, and “sick to your stomach” over what the administration you work for is doing? Swan and Axios effectively couldn’t put the “why” there because the “why” is indefensible. Either this source did not mean what they said — and Axios printed a pandering lie — or they did mean it and this source is too cowardly to do the right thing and go on the record.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020