No Reporter Wants to Be The Scapegoat for Next Week’s Trump Victory

For those of you wondering why the Hunter Biden story has still not broken through to the MSM even at this point or why the networks still haven’t pivoted to reflect the actual election reality the explanation is a one word answer:

Fear!

I wrote a bit ago that the Democrat Media Academia (and I should add Big Tech) left’s basic plan in Election 2020 was Albert Sydney Johnston’s 1861 strategy in the west to hold back the overwhelmingly powerful Union forces that could strike along a line he couldn’t defend, basically a giant bluff with the newspapers on board predicting his advance with huge numbers into enemy territory at any moment.

Modern Democrats have played the same card (see the MSM on Texas and Georgia) to some effect among their shrinking delusional bubbled and increasingly violent base however….

Unfortunately for the media they have one disadvantage that General Johnston did not. There is an actual drop dead date for this tactic, namely election day, although in fairness the attempt to push the idea that mail in ballots will be enough to change a Trump election night victory to a defeat will likely continue until it’s clear that there simply aren’t enough votes to steal in enough states to reverse the result.

Now that drop dead date is less than 5 days away and despite the best efforts of an army of Raquel Rodriguezes as documented by James O’Keefe at Project veritas, literally millions of people who live in said bubble are about to find out just how weak the Democrats in General and Joe Biden in particular actually are.

And when this happens while we will have a lot of fun mocking the Youtube screamers the violent and unhinged leftists and some of their big money people who have let themselves be deceived rather than facing reality will be looking for scapegoats and that’s the bottom line here each reporter and news agency is asking.

Do you really want to be the reporter or the network these ignorant and/or violent fools blame for the re-election of Donald Trump?

The least bit of action that allows reality to penetrate the bubble will allow said bubble people to point at them to be the cause of the overwhelming victor that these idiots are still predicting from happening.

If they are very lucky the end result of such an action will be a huge financial and status hit, being blacklisted by Hollywood and rich leftists, denied speaking gigs or the ability to profit on the speaking circuit (once it reopens) and it goes without saying that they won’t be able to sell any book to a publisher.

If they are not it means becoming the target of a bunch of violent thugs who have already demonstrated a willingness to use violence against their own allies if they are displeased in the slightest even at their own homes.

There is not one network or paper in general or reporter in particular willing to face the wrath of this beast that they created.

So they will play the game right till election day and profess to the bubble people how shocked SHOCKED they are that somehow Donald Trump has won. They’ll blame fraud, they’ll blame SCOTUS they’ll point the blame wherever they can without worry about the consequences for the nation secure in the knowledge that they will still gain admission to the right parties, be welcome among the Hollywood crowd and still be able to pitch books to the faithful about how they fought the good fight against the evil Trump Empire.

Quick one Liners Under the Fedora: Potemkin Media, Drawing Blanks, 8th inning disease, MLB Turner Tantrum, Jazz Shaw gets results and Rush’s final Charge

Hey given the degree of falsehood that the media has been selling lately the fact that the “senior administration official” who was Mr. Anonymous turned out to be a low level aide who was already a contributor to the network is pretty low on my outrage-dar.


Mike Lee’s question to Facebook, Twitter or Google, asking them to name one high proflle liberal they have censored but none of them can think of one off the top of their head speaks gives the lie to big tech’s protestations.


I’d really like the outraged MLB / Bidenball, outraged that Justin Turner who was pulled off the field in the 8th inning because of a positive COVID tested, how being on the field to celebrate the Dodgers World Series win two innings later is going to be a bigger risk than the fact he has been in constant contact with the same crowed for the last week?


At least one voter I know has changed his planned vote on Question 2 in MA from “yes” to “no” thanks to Jazz Shaw’s story on “ranked voting” which explains how it’s another way of putting the liberal fix in.


Finally I have a horrible feeling that the reason Rush Limbaugh has not missed as show this week or last is that he knows is time is up and wants to do all he can to rally the troops for one final battle.

Jake Tapper 4 years later, Avoiding the Blame

Four years ago Hillary Clinton had an episode at a Sept 11th event,

CNN went into full spin mode during “Reliable Sources” however directly following the show Jake Tapper took over and played it as straight news for two hours which allowed the story to reach the MSM even when CNN went back to full denial mode once he was off again. As I wrote months later:

I submit and suggest none of this breaks into the MSM if either CNN decides to play the repeat of Tapper at noon that day or Jake decides to play down the incident as Reliable Sources did before him and the rest of the CNN team did after he got off the air.  This was breaking news happening on a Sunday where people were available and would naturally switch to CNN to find out about breaking news and there was Jake Tapper, the single most trusted reporter on that station playing it straight.

Now my fellow conservative writers and bloggers can argue that this moment doesn’t cancel out Jake Tapper’s anti-Trump obsession for the last year and I’m sure they will make plenty of fine points 90% of which that I might agree with.

But for my money none of that can happen if Tapper decides to tow the Hillary Campaign line during those critical two hours.  Even Hillary voters understood that she was dishonest but the idea that she might not be up to being President physically was established that day and it was Jake Tapper who did it.

Well it’s four years later and the Biden laptop story is now being censored by Facebook and Twitter, in fact it’s been so back the New York Post is still locked out of their Twitter account and several people were censored for trying to tweet it out.

And while Jake Tapper has commented on the censorship without directly referencing the story

I have seen very little if anything on the actual story from Mr. Tapper but he’s had this to say via The Other McCain:

Stacy had this to say:

What evidently set Tapper off was that Trump brought up Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell”:

“Trump and his allies in the media and the members of his family and the Trump allied websites and such are leveling with charges so heinous I’m not going to say them, just nonsense, crap, tied into QAnon, tied into pizzagate, tied into the worst things you could say about a person.”

Who thinks this way? And why do they think this way?

Trump Derangement Syndrome — for Tapper and others in the media echo chamber, November 8, 2016, is a Date That Will Live in Infamy. That scene in the Javitz Center, the agonized disbelief that the American people had rejected Hillary Clinton? They’re still not over it. They’ll never be over it, just like Ted Striker will never be over Macho Grande.

Stacy is right but there is more to it then that.

I think that Jake Tapper hasn’t gotten over the idea that his reporting that day allowed that story to break out and in the back of his mind he wonders if that made the difference in election 2016.

Because of this even though we have on the record people stating that the Hunter Biden laptop is real and that the “Russian disinformation” angle is BS Tapper isn’t going to go near it because he doesn’t want to be the mainstream media person that allows this story to be let into the MSM bubble and thus force the media to cover it in any way.

Because I guarantee that on November 4th and beyond the violent Democrat / Hollywood / Media left will be looking for people to blame and he has no intention of taking the rap.

Closing thought: Given what I’ve seen over the last four years I submit and suggest that if Mr. Tapper had not been positive that Donald Trump had no chance of winning in 2016 he does not play the news concerning Hillary Clinton’s health episode straight.

Big Media and Big Tech, the left-wing parents who adopted us, believe they know what is best for you

Bea Arthur as “Maude.”

By John Ruberry

I was raised by parents who kept a close eye on what my brothers and sisters and I watched on television. As we only had two TV sets, that was a very easy task for them as my folks didn’t socialize outside our home much. Until the early 1970s it was especially easy for them as television fare for the medium’s first 25 years was mostly G-rated fare. Otis Campbell’s drunkeness on the Andy Griffith Show was as bad as it got in the 1960s, although interestingly, the character was rarely shown consuming alcohol. 

So in 1972 when Bea Arthur’s eponymous character in Maude, in a two-episode storyline became pregnant–she pondered an abortion and then went through with it–my parents made sure that our televisions were tuned to a different station those nights.

Abortion was not only very controversial in 1972, it was illegal in most states, although Arthur’s character lived in New York, where it was not. At that time I didn’t even know what abortion was.

Nearly five decades later, Big Tech and Big Media are trying to control what I see on my computer and portable devices. And because broadcast and cable news often takes its lead from what they view as “elite” media, their decisions effect what I see on my TV.

Our “betters” in the media, working for CNN, MSNBC, as well as onetime somewhat fair but left-leaning print outlets such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, are attempting to limit what information we consume. And in control of the metaphoric off switch is Big Tech, led by Twitter and Facebook. 

Stories that are harmful to the reputation to President Donald Trump blare across the media, such as reports on Trump’s tax returns. The New York Times did not publish those returns, but it reported on them. The Old Gray Lady won’t say how it got them, but assuming reports on the returns are accurate, who ever gained access to them and gave them to the Times broke the law. The stories on Trump’s tax returns, where it was reported that he paid as little as $750 in federal taxes, were reported pretty much everywhere by the media, and posted, reposted, Tweeted, and re-Tweeted on Facebook and Twitter.

“Kids, kids, come to the living room! You need to see this news story on TV!” 

Contrast Trump’s taxes to reports from the New York Post about the emails it accessed from a laptop that once belonged to Joe Biden’s troublesome son, Hunter. Because Hunter dropped of the computer at a repair shop and never bothered to pick it up, that computer became property of the shop’s owner. Emails found on that computer confirm accusations that Hunter used that Biden name to for influence peddling. Illegal? Maybe not. Sleazy? For sure. And the shop owner did not break the law.

And the media, with the exception of Fox News and other conservative news sources such as Breitbart, ignored or minimized coverage of Hunter Biden’s emails. Last week a Democratic Party shill masquerading as an ABC journalist, former Bill Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos, didn’t ask Biden about the New York Post revelations. Yeah, I get it, the format was a town hall, but ABC chose the participants and it knew what questions they would ask. Contrast Biden’s friendly treatment to the grilling Trump received from Savannah Guthrie at the NBC town hall the same night. Guthrie is married to Michael Feldman, the traveling chief of staff for Al Gore in the 2000 election. Guthrie brought up Trump’s tax returns, among other things. 

That’s bad but what is worse is that Twitter and Facebook for a while blocked the posting and sharing of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email revelations. And it wasn’t yokels like me who suffered the indignity. Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, saw her Twitter account briefly suspended for Tweeting the Post’s Hunter story. The twisted explanation from Big Tech is that the Hunter Biden’s emails were hacked–they weren’t–and that the story was unverified. Remember, the NY Times never actually published Trump’s federal tax returns, which may have been hacked. But the Post did show images of some of Hunter’s emails. Even the New York Post’s Twitter account was suspended for a short time on the day it published the Hunter story.

“Kids…turn off that TV and go to your room!” 

Of course these media and tech big shots are our “betters.” Jeffrey Toobin, a CNN analyst and New Yorker writer, a product of Harvard University, is one of them. But yesterday Toobin was suspended by CNN and the New Yorker after exposing himself and more–click here for the X-rated details–during a Zoom call simulating election night scenarios. Toobin is a scumbag. He had an extramarital affair with Casey Greenfield, the daughter of journalist Jeff Greenfield. Okay, I know, Trump has been unfaithful while married too. But Greenfield bore his child, which Toobin only acknowledged after a DNA test, and only then began paying child support. And while pregnant Toobin offered to pay for her abortion.

American media can do much better than Toobin and his fellow “betters.” I will write another entry on the sad state of the media after the election.  

But right now we’re headed to Chinese government-style control of the media by the left.

A free press and free association are two things that French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville saw as two key safeguards in his landmark 19th-century work, Democracy in America

But Big Tech and Big Media, as well as the increasingly far-left Democratic Party, are trying to minimize both. 

We live in a perilous time.

UPDATE 7:30pm EDT: Correction, the New York Post Twitter account was “not suspended for a short time” as I wrote earlier. There are no new Twitter entries from @nypost since October 14. If the account has been suspended it clearly has been locked out. This is censorship.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Five Thoughts under Other People’s Fedora: Right Wing Granny on NC Voting, Pirates Cove on Democrat Silence, Victory Girls Blog on Law School Students Triggered by ACB, Proof Positive on Home Security Layers and View From the Beach on the Biden/Emails/NY Post Scandal

Early voting began in North Carolina yesterday. Recently the Democrat-controlled State Board of Elections attempted to change the rules regarding absentee ballots just before voting began.

Via Right Wing Granny Avoiding Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Election

For people who are supposed to be running away with an election the Left are sure anxious to game the rules and keep them gamed.


Think about that: if those changes were good, they would have zero problem saying what they are, instead of worrying that they will alienate voters. That tells you all you need to know about their agenda, just like Handsy Joe refusing to really say whether he would be in favor of packing the courts.

Via Pirates Cove: Democratic Apoplexy Over ACB Could Lead To Changes They Don’t Want To Talk About

If this kind of bait and switch was done in any other business, they would be facing charges.


The girls got ratioed big time. So the lead girl made a response. She says the original Tik Tok was a joke. Yeah, right. Her name is Ariana Garcia-Moore. She is a fan of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. Then, she tweeted that it wasn’t a joke because Republicans don’t know the difference between the Ginsburg Rule and non-participation in a hearing. So, which is it?

Via Victory Girls Blog: Law Students Clap Back At ACB On Hypotheticals

Maybe it’s just me but if I owned a business or law firm I’d wouldn’t have to think once about hiring a lawyer or firm with staff that attacked on video a soon to be sitting SCOTUS justice who is a sitting federal judge. You would think a law student might be taught that.


Remember: security is layers. Lighting. Landscaping. Fences. Dead bolts. Dogs. Alarms. Situational awareness. Safe rooms.

Have a gun and know how to use it. But if it is your only level of security, you may not be able to utilize it in time. If you choose not to own a gun, that’s your choice, but the layers of security will help to delay the bad guys until the cavalry can come.

Proof Positive: Security is What You Make It

What a lot of people don’t realize is that unless someone is looking for a specific item in a specific house (incredibly rare) or a mob (Seattle, Portland et/al) it’s those first outer layers of security that make a potential thief decide on an easier target.


When they acknowledge the story at all they continue to hold out for the “Russians Did It” defense,

View From the Beach: Biden with the Bidens

This along with a previous post ( The Biden’s Abide) are a veritable Biden email linkfest with everything you need to keep up with what is going on. What hit me is this post confirms the following tweet. via insty.

Twitter and Facebook Cross the Rubicon (but might not know it)

The whole point of Jacksonianism is “You leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. You play fair with me and I’ll play fair with you. But if you fuck with me, I’ll kill you.”

Steven Den Bestie

The big story of the day is not as some are suggesting the Hunter Biden story at the NY Post which provides proof of the wrongdoing of the VP’s son and his knowledge of said wrongdoing, or even the fact that Democrat hack George (I’m an unbiased journalist, sure I am) Stephanopoulos didn’t even ask him about said story at the ABC town hall.

Anyone who has followed the career of Joe Biden or of Georgie the fixer would not be all that surprised by it.

The big story is and remains the decision of Twitter and Facebook to cross the Rubicon.

You see once you chosen sides publicly there is no going back. You can’t “uncensor” these people and have either conservative in general, who they have been picking on for years or the Trump administration in particular, who never trusted them believe that all is now well and once the election is over they will let bygones be bygones.

That’s not how President Trump works. He is a Jacksonian with a long memory.

So I’m not surprised when I see this:

I told you they’re all in on their censorship. Twitter is now deprecating links to official dot gov websites.

or this:

We’ve seen some backing off but I find that hilarious because they have apparently not figured out that the retribution they will get from the reelected Trump administration will not be any less then if they kept it up.

I’m not completely shocked at this move as I believe ans suspect that this was all authorized by people in middle management who presumed the support of their superiors because their tribal political opinions without realizing the line they crossed or the consequences thereof to the bottom line in the long run that the big boys understand

But like Robert E Lee being forced by Maj. Gen. Robert Rodes into battle on ground he did not choose at Gettysburg Jack, Zuck and company find themselves in a fight on ground that doesn’t favor them forcing them to either run or commit their entire resources to try and salvage a victory.

Neither option is going to end well. If they choose to stay and fight (which I think they still might despite trying to bluff their way out I believe their version of Picket’s Charge will fail with a lot less success than the original and then Trump, unlike Meade, will not fail to follow them up and finish them off.

Their attempts to equivocate and bluff are the equivalent of trying to run in the face of the enemy and again, Trump unlike Meade will not waste any time hitting them in motion and destroying them.

I’ll enjoy that sight: Remember Stacy McCain

Postscript. It’s worth noting that no matter what the result of the election, that any suits against these social media giants face (and they will invariably come over these actions) will ultimately be decided a Supreme Court that will include Amy Coney Barrett.

I’ll enjoy that too.

Tommy’s meltdown

By Christopher Harper

“Our democracy is in terrible danger — more than since the Civil War, more than after Pearl Harbor, more than during the Cuban missile crisis, and more danger than during Watergate.”

It’s rare to see a meltdown like the one DaTimes’ Tommy Friedman had in his column, which included the sentence above.

Just think about it. Tommy, who supported that great leader Mike Bloomberg in the Democrat primaries, thinks President Trump is leading the country into a civil war. He’s responsible for worse conditions than Pearl Harbor, and his leadership has led the country into a potential nuclear war? Trump is worse than Nixon?

Tommy compares the United States with Lebanon during its civil war. Tommy’s office at United Press International was just across from mine at Newsweek in Beirut. I was there, too, and I don’t see any comparisons between a war that left more than 100,000 dead with what’s happening in the United States. 

Somehow Tommy transitions from the Lebanese civil war to social media and the problems they have created. I’m no fan of Facebook and Twitter and their leftist slant, but the hyperbole of comparing guerrillas with rocket-propelled grenades in Lebanon to trolls with hurtful words is a bit much.

The solution to all of America’s problems, Tommy opines, is Joe Biden. Seriously?

“The Democratic Party sorted through all the choices, and, led by older Black men and women in South Carolina, rejected the Democratic socialist candidate and said they wanted a moderate unifier named Joe Biden,” Tommy says.

What alternate universe is Tommy living in? South Carolina voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016, and Democrats have virtually no power throughout the state except to vote in a meaningless primary every four years. 

What happened is that the Democrat power brokers knew that Bernie Sanders would lead to a massive election defeat. Hence, they backed a four-time loser in presidential primaries that they could control. 

Tommy’s meltdown continues in his description of Trump as “the most dishonest, dangerous, mean-spirited, divisive, and corrupt person to ever occupy the Oval Office.”

Seriously? Maybe Tommy forgot fellow journalist Warren Harding, who engaged in the most scandal-ridden presidency in history.

Maybe Franklin Pierce, who set the stage for the Civil War, or James Buchanan, who followed through on Pierce’s pro-slavery campaign? Maybe Andrew Johnson, the first president to be impeached? 

But Tommy chooses not to reflect on history; he’s on a ridiculous role. 

Tommy concludes: “So help register someone to vote for Joe Biden. Phone bank for Joe Biden. Talk to your neighbor about Joe Biden. Volunteer for Joe Biden. Drive someone to the polls to vote for Joe Biden.

“Do it as if your country’s democracy depends on it, because it does.”

DaTimes needs to put Tommy out to pasture like Americans have to do with Joe. 

Questions the mainstream media needs to be asking Biden

By John Ruberry

Last week CNN hosted a town hall for Joe Biden where he was given softball questions. No, on second thought they were T-ball questions. 

The demands on whoever is president are brutal. If CNN believes that Biden can’t handle challenging queries then that in my opinion disqualifies him to be leader of the most powerful nation on the planet. And if CNN is just shilling for the Democrats, then no one should take them seriously as a news outlet. Based on their poor ratings, most people already do not. 

Here are some questions that responsible reporters should be asking Biden. The wonderful thing about the questions I’ve devised is that most of them can be posed to President Trump. Yes, a few of these queries have been given to Biden, but generally only once and with dismissive answers from the Democratic nominee.

Here we go:

  • Will you be releasing the names of your potential Supreme Court nominees, as President Trump did as a candidate in 2016 and did earlier this month?
  • Do you support “packing the Supreme Court,” that is, nominating additional justices to the court to go beyond nine members?
  • Where’s Hunter?
  • Do you unconditionally oppose Antifa?
  • Will a Biden administration investigate plots by Antifa and other groups to incite riots in cities such as Portland?
  • You favor a nationwide mask mandate to fight COVID-19. What is your legal basis for instituting one?
  • Do you support statehood for the District of Columbia? And for Puerto Rico?
  • Many states, such as Illinois, Kentucky, and New Jersey, have public-sector worker pension plans that are essentially bankrupt. Do you support a federal bailout of these and other state worker pension plans?
  • Numerous cities also have similarly under-funded pension plans. Will you back a bailout of those plans?
  • What is your position on bailing out states whose tax revenues have plummeted because of COVID-19 lockdowns?
  • Do you favor allowing states to declare bankruptcy?
  • Speaking of Illinois, in 2008 the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald, was in the midst of a corruption investigation of Rod Blagojevich, the governor of the state, and Tony Rezko, a member of Blago’s inner circle who donated large sums to the campaigns of Barack Obama. Your ticket mate kept Fitzgerald in his post after becoming president. This year John Lausch, the current US Attorney in Chicago, is in the thick of investigating more public corruption. The center of this scandal appears to be longtime Illinois state House speaker Michael Madigan who is also the chairman of the state Democratic Party. If elected will you keep Lausch in his post?
  • Where’s Hunter?
  • If elected you will be older than Ronald Reagan, the oldest person to serve as president, was when he left office after two terms. Are you physically and mentally up to the office? If you are now what will happen if you one day are not?
  • Do you support the Green New Deal?
  • Do you support fracking?
  • Do you support nuclear power?
  • Do you support coal power?
  • Do you back amnesty for illegal immigrants?
  • Do you utilize teleprompters during interviews and question-and-answer sessions?
  • Where’s Hunter?

I’m sure there are many more questions readers can come up with.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Quick Under the Fedora Thoughts. If Trump is for it I’m agan it Edition…

Judson: I’m agan it!

Mack: Agan What? You didn’t hear what Daniel said?

Judson: If Daniel said it I’m agan it!

Daniel Boone Ken-Tuck-E 1964

The Atlantic magazine has come out against the Nobel Peace Prize itself

If Donald Trump is for the Peace Prize they’re agan it!


Can we now assume that the Nobel Peace prize for Barack Obama was an affirmative action award?


I think it’s been really something to see the left go on a full defense of what objectively is child porn in their defense of Netflix “Cuties”

If I was Donald Trump I’d direct the AG to investigate if the movies violates US child porn laws as written.

The whole: ” If Donald Trump is against Child Porn then I’m for it” reaction from will be something to see, of course in fairness they’re already all defending it. I wonder how fast they would condemn the movie Fatima about the miracles there if Trump came out for it?


Well at least the new peace deal between Barain and Israel is something that Democrats can celebrate. Right?

If Donald Trump is for a peace deal I’m agan it!


There has been another ambush of law enforcement and the Joe Biden Voters are acting like…Joe Biden voters

I’m sure they’re just getting ahead of the President’s condemnation of this act of terror to be agan what he’s for.


Apparently at least one NFL player has figured it out:

After watching Thursday’s game and also watching the Dolphins players’ video, it shows that it is not about who is standing or who is kneeling for the anthem,” Mayfield said. “But instead, coming together and taking action to create real change. Also after reading many letters and messages over the past few weeks, I have been showed (sic) that a gesture such as kneeling will only create more division or discussion about the gesture, rather than be a solution towards our country’s problems at hand. With that being said, I am choosing to stand for both anthems to show respect, love, and unity to everybody involved.”

Trump will obviously be for this so as you might guess the left is agan it but I suspect those who have invested in him as an advertising spokesman are for it. The real question is this: Given that the Ravens are expected to be blitzing a lot will his offensive line be for it or agan it?

Absence of malice?

By Christopher Harper

After repeated examples of lousy journalism under cover of anonymous sources, it’s time to remove them from the reporter’s toolbox.

Here are some examples of false stories that came to you, the reader or viewer, as a result of anonymous sources:

The New York Times and Judith Miller’s allegations that Saddam Hussein had vast caches of weapons of mass destruction

–The Rolling Stone “investigation” of rape on college campuses

–A New York Times story claiming that federal prosecutors were seeking a criminal investigation against Hillary Clinton for her private email accounts

–A CNN story that Congress was investigating a Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials

–A Washington Post story that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electrical grid

–An MSNBC report that Russian billionaires with ties to Vladimir Putin had co-signed a bank loan for President Trump

In these and many other cases, the prime motivation to use anonymous sources is because the reporter wanted the allegations to be true.

I worked in Washington, where I found the default is usually to promise anonymity because it usually serves the reporter and the source. At the end of the daily news cycle, it doesn’t matter whether the story was true. What counted was the number of eyeballs attracted to the story!

In a discussion on the recent Atlantic claims about Trump and the military, some of my former colleagues in journalism offered Watergate as the underlying justification for anonymous sources.

That was almost 50 years ago! For every good example of what has happened because of anonymous sources, how many bad examples have happened? It took me only a few minutes to recall the fake stories I listed at the top. Give me a few hours, and I’d come up with a basketful.

Oh, how about Dan Rather and Memogate? Maybe Little Jimmy and Janet Cook?

Moreover, news organizations rarely follow their guidelines on the use of anonymous sources. In most ethical codes, a reporter should ONLY use an unnamed source as a last resort. A senior editor usually has to approve the use, and a second source must corroborate the information.

I’ve served as an expert witness in half a dozen lawsuits where reporters and editors didn’t come close to following these guidelines and libeled innocent people.

I recommend that journalists watch Absence of Malice, the 1981 film that analyzes how the use of anonymous sources results in the death of one woman, the disgrace of local and federal prosecutors, and the end of a journalist’s career.

And I didn’t even have to mention the growing disbelief of the public toward journalists as a result of anonymous sources and other miscues.