Monday, January 20, 2003

Mark Kleiman:

So (1) the Washington Post published a story attributing views and actions to a senior official without ever interviewing that official, (2) the story got that person's views and actions substantially wrong, but (3) no apology is called for. Nor does the reporter reveal the name of the person who (one must assume) deliberately misled him, and led him to mislead the country. It is well understood as a matter of journalistic ethics that the identity of a source speaking on background can be revealed if it turns out that the source was using anonymity in the service of an effort to deceive. It is also understood as a matter of practical politics that any reporter who burns Karl Rove in that fashion is toast.

This event will not, of course, damage the position of the Post as one of the “liberal media” in the world of right-bloggic demonology. That it put the President's National Security Advisor in a thoroughly false position is evidently of no concern to Rove & Co.; after all, it's not as if we were at war or anything.

I is no high-falutin journalist, but I've always understood that if your sources lie to you then you're pretty much free to reveal them.

With liberal media like this, who needs a conservative media.