Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Is this news?

From a Yahoo news article, I copy:
"A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the emails were 'flirtatious' in nature, but did not deal with security or military business. The official said he had not seen the emails and could not say whether they were merely friendly or sexually explicit."

Over the past several days, I've noticed a rash of "speaking on condition of anonymity" notices in online and print media news. Many times it is because said person "was not authorized to speak" and so forth, although there have been a number of different reasons given. And then, today, this one! It should say "A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he or she had no clue in the matter..."

Is it really news when someone who has not seen or read something is talking to a reporter about it? Senior official, maybe you should not talk about what you don't know about. Reporter, maybe you should find someone who has actually seen or read the e-mails to talk about them!

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