Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dirtying the American Media Tradition

Friends have recently put me in touch with two blogs that carry interviews with persons claiming to be anonymous White House insiders. The tasty morsel these two insiders share, assuming either is real and assuming they are different people, is that President Barack Hussein Obama is losing it. Or as one put it, he is "empty", referring to a deep depression that has come over the President. His staff is purportedly in disarray and fighting among themselves.
Let me hasten to say, right up front, I believe both articles to be based upon lies. What kind of lies I can't be certain, since the "sources" are anonymous. Are either one of the sources real, or the figment of someone's fertile fiction imagination? Don't know. If they are real, are they one person, or two? Don't know. And if they are real, is the information real or made up? Don't know.
Truth requires a source and credibility. In these two cases we have neither.
One article, claiming to be an interview with a "Washington insider" talks of the President's deep depression for which he is receiving medication. No mention of what kind or how often, or how much.
The other article, also supposedly an interview with an anonymous Washington insider, talks of the depression the President is undergoing, and the infighting among his staff, but does not mention medication.
My field for many years was public relations. I dealt with all sorts of domestic and foreign news media, all around the world. I must tell you that throughout my more than 50 years of dealing with all types of news media and reporters, I have always refused to give credence to anonymous sources. And I refuse this time, as well.
Those who know me or read my blog often already know I am far from being a fan of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress and Senate. But at the same time, regardless of how poorly I believe this nation is being led, how dangerously greedy and self-serving the current Congress and Senate have proved themselves to be, writings and claims based upon anonymous sources are simply scurrilous attacks. They lack to simple basics of truth and credibility and are worse than gossip. They are worse than the back-of-the-hand gossiping that goes on because they appear in legitimate publications, web sites and blogs, and are lent illegitimate credibility. They reek with the foulness upon which they are based.
Why would anyone do such a thing? It happens all the time, unfortunately. Sometimes it happens for what the source considers the best of reasons. They want to get information out into the mainstream, but they could lose their job if their name is attached to it. Maybe it's a matter of conscience, a desire to make a difference, or, sometimes, an attempt to smear someone, to get back at someone, to get even with someone. They don't have what it takes to stand up and fight their own fight, so they stab people in the back with anonymity.
Sometimes it is much more sinister, an attempt to fool "the other side" into a reaction that will trigger a planned response. In debates it's called bring up a "strawman", setting up something that doesn't exist, so as to make an argument that otherwise would not have a basis for coming up. More simply, it's political dirty tricks. They want to defend their man, but the other side won't say bad things against which they can defend, so "anonymously" they say bad things for them. Then they can jump to the defense against the very scurrilous remarks they planted ... anonymously.
You begin to see why "anonymous" attacks and claims cannot be accepted.
We have sufficient whistleblower protection laws in this country. You can stand up and tell the truth, and be protected. That's the kind of country we are. Or, that's the kind of country we were, if we begin giving credence to "anonymous" sources.
No, I don't like the way the Obama government mismanages this nation, I don't like they way they have nearly destroyed the free market system, driven wedges between blacks and whites, Americans and Hispanics, rich and poor, young and old. But neither do I like character assassination by either the named or the anonymous.
All these two articles of interviews with "anonymous" have done is dirty the name of the American news media and bloggers. Neither of them should ever have seen the light of day.
And I'm still going to work as hard as I can to get concerned Americans to go to the polls on November 2nd and clean House and Senate. But I won't do it anonymously.
-- The Master Gunny

No comments: