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    “Politico failure to respond raises questions”

    “Politico failure to respond raises questions”

    Politico relied on anonymous sources not just for the tipoff on the Herman Cain story, but for some of the details as to the nature of the accusations.  Yet Politico refuses to provide any context for the sources so that readers could judge the credibility of the accusations based on the placement of the source.

    This stands in contrast, for example, to Politico’s use of terms such as “senior administration official” or identifier of a person in an organization who “requested anonymity.”  This terminology protects the identity of the source, yet provides context for readers to judge the likely veracity of the otherwise anonymous statement.  Politico uses such terminology for even national security issues.

    Apparently, the source for the Cain accusations must be kept even more secret than the identity of those who convey national security information.

    I didn’t really expect an answer, and have not received one as of this posting, but here’s the e-mail I sent to John Harris and Jim Vandehei of Politco at 11:14 this morning, with the subject line “Inquiry re your position on Cain source”:

    I’m doing a post soon about Politico’s Cain story, and I wanted to make sure I had your position on the source correct. I understand that you refuse not only to name the person or persons, but also refuse to characterize them as being affiliated or not with another campaign or otherwise. This would seem inconsistent with your frequent use of terms such as “senior administration official” which protects the identity of the person, but permits readers to put the source in some context.

    Can you confirm Politico’s position on what it will or will not reveal about the source, and why it will not reveal whether the person is affiliated in any way with another campaign?


    Bill Jacobson
    Legal Insurrection Blog

    Does this delay in response allow me to use this headline on the post?


    Who knows, there may be a career for me yet in the mainstream media.

    As to Politico’s position on the source, I’ll let you know if I hear back.


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    SukieTawdry | November 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Actually, “senior administration official” provides little context and tells me next to nothing. How do I know what the reporter considers “senior” or, for that matter, who the reporter considers an “administration official?”

    I’m not so sure about all this. I figure the Republican candidates benefit most from a scandal this early, not liberals. So I’m wondering if NEWT fed the story to Politico.

    And 3 2 1 until the female complainant, a FEDERAL employee and IVY LEAGUE GRADUATE, comes forward and starts embellishing the original story, complete with angry clenched jaw and the revelation that it ruined her whole life in spite of the $140,000 job and $100,000 pension complete with benefits.

    Way to take the lead! Every blogger should be sending this same note to Politico.

    don fulano | November 1, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Surely there’s gotta be more to this story.

    Like a pubic hair and a Coke can.

    JEBurke | November 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    If another campaign steered Politico to this story, which I strongly believe to be likely, Politico will never admit it. You can’t be a publication whose only beat is politics and allow yourself to be used as a campaign weapon directly. Of course, you can be biased and play favorites and beat up non-favorites. All that is expected, but you cannot literally wield the axe.

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