…is it okay to quote anonymous sources when talking shit?
But that is exactly what was done when John Harwood, one of the biggest douches ever to burst forth from basic cable, cited an ‘anonymous source’ to dismiss fire coming at the administration from the left as “the internet fringe left” then he went on to say “And for a sign of how seriously the White House does or doesn’t take this opposition, one adviser told me today those bloggers need to take off their pajamas, get dressed and realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult.”
I’m sorry, but this just doesn’t smell right. Not. At. All.
Oh, somebody said it. It is definitely someone’s opinion. Someone owns those words. But as of right now, John Harwood is the only person who has said them aloud in public, and until he cites a source, he’s the one talkin’ shit. He needs to back his shit up, or back the fuck down.
As a blogger, I take this shit seriously. I back my work up, I cite quotes and I keep the fucking recordings of interviews. I talk to staffers of both the White House and various Senators and Representatives – even a couple of republicans. I talk to them on the record, and I talk to them off the record. And if someone tells me something off the record, it doesn’t end up cited anonymously later.
There are a couple of angles to this, and the one I am inclined toward right now is a desire on the part of the M$M to undermine the outreach that the White House has been doing to the likes of me.
Call me cynical, but I don’t think it’s coincidental that Harwood makes this outrageous claim at the same time that the higher-ups at the White House have realized the discourse in this country is absolutely batshit insane…and the discourse is driven by the media. The White House knows this, and in the last six weeks or so, since the reality of the degree of insanity started to set in, they started reaching out to us in the blogosphere with conference calls and emails that can be replied to and get a real answer.
The traditional media failed us every time they reported on wingnuts behaving badly and gave the ridiculous credibility and the absurd gravitas. They continue to fail us every time they fail to call bullshit on blatant bullshit for fear of being accused of liberal bias.
It is the status quo that is in peril, and it is the M$M that stands to lose the most as the White House reaches out to bloggers and treats us like serious journalists who matter.
And major bloggers going off in all directions based on an anonymous quote tossed out by a douche like Harwood does a disservice to the hard work a lot of us have put in to gain credibility and access – and it plays right into the hands of the traditional media with an interest in maintaining the status quo.