FAIR: Anonymous Sources Criticize Anonymously Sourced Article

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FAIR and Salon criticized POLITICO for letting anonymous sources criticize an anonymously-sourced report.

Progressive media watchdog website Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) criticized POLITICO for using anonymous sources in its article criticizing the New Yorker for using anonymous sources.

As FAIR explained, a June 6 New Yorker article by Seymour Hersh claiming “there is virtually no evidence Iran has a nuclear weapons program” is based on anonymous sources.

The POLITICO article, by Jennifer Epstein, reported that two anonymous “administration officials” counter that claim.  On second reference, POLITICO refers to a “senior administration official” and “a senior intelligence official” both claiming otherwise to the New Yorker’s report.  The senior intelligence official slammed the New Yorker, calling the article a “slanted book report” and so forth.

POLITICO’s report even noted that the New Yorker’s reporter, Hersh, has been criticized for “heavy reliance on anonymous sources.”

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald commented on the criticism of Hersh’s New Yorker article, criticizing the two anonymous sources.  Greenwald called the sources “cowardly” and “slimy” for “hiding behind the protective womb of anonymity.

Greenwald also claimed that POLITICO is a “gossip rag notorious for granting anonymity to any powerful figure who requests it for any or no reason,” citing his own 2009 article for Salon about POLITICO’s anonymity granting.

iMediaEthics is writing to POLITICO for comment, as well as to ascertain what its anonymous source policy is. We will update with any response.

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FAIR: Anonymous Sources Criticize Anonymously Sourced Article

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