Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

The big news of the week was a story by The Atlantic alleging President Donald Trump disparaged veterans and Vietnam veterans specifically as “total losers.” And everyone from Fox News to former Vice President and current Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden has run with it like they stole it. Whether you believe it or not depends on something we haven’t really had a chance to discuss in detail for a while.

Unnamed sources.

As it turns out, The Atlantic‘s story relied heavily on unnamed sources, which can be a positive and a negative in journalistic circles. And, thanks to your humble correspondent, you will see why.

unnamed sources

What the Left thinks it means – valuable sources of information that get to the heart of most stories

What it really means – questionable sources of information at best

As a former journalism student, I can tell you unnamed sources can be a mixed bag because their credibility is completely reliant upon how much the reporter believes them. In the past, journalists could sense when there was the ring of truth to what a source said and when it was bullshit. Today, most journalists have a bullshit meter more broken than Matt Hardy. (If you get that reference, that would be DELIGHTFUL, yaaaaaaaaaas.)

Now, imagine a journalist who is predisposed to believe anything negative about President Trump, no matter how absurd it is. Guess what, kids? He/she is going to believe the negative stuff without so much as a first thought (because expecting them to have a second thought would be way above his/her pay grade).

This is where things get sticky. Under normal circumstances, anyone in the media who gets tricked by false information would get called out and discredited to the point not even the local Super Shopper would hire them. In the current media environment, though, that only happens if you’re not in league with the bulk of the media, which might as well be stenographers for the DNC. Even when getting caught time and time again falling for bad information, Leftists don’t lose any credibility. Compare the Left’s treatment of James O’Keefe and Rachel Maddow if you question this.

What does this have to do with unnamed sources? Regardless of the veracity of said sources, the Left has nothing to lose by believing them and reporting what they say. Meanwhile, the Right could get God to certify their statements and the Left wouldn’t believe it.

You know what beats unnamed sources, though? Named sources. With The Atlantic story, they have four unnamed sources. The number of named source? Zero, the same number of delegates Kamala Harris got. On the other side, the Trump Administration noted zero unnamed source, but ten named sources (including people who were there when the President allegedly made the statements attributed to him). Now, I’m no math major, but I’m pretty sure 10 is larger than 0, and that’s not even counting the fact the 10 are named sources.

That’s the double-edged Sword of Damocles when dealing with unnamed sources. Their truthfulness can’t be measured because we don’t know who they are, but the journalists do. That’s one level away from the source, which opens the journalist to scrutiny and questions of bias. And by questions, I mean certitudes. By protecting their sources by keeping them anonymous, they take on the criticism, often willingly, but even though the Left overlooks it, they lose the Credibility Olympics against named sources who come forward because there is no degree of separation from the original source with the latter.

Plus, there’s another thing to consider. There is a known and generally accepted practice of making up sources and/or quotes as needed. When you work a beat, you won’t always get the information you want or need for a story. If you’re being honest, you either find a way to get the information or try to write around it. If you’re a journalist today, you make it up. You know who uses similar practices? The National Enquirer.

Actually, I take that back. The Enquirer has standards.

To be honest, I don’t know who to believe when it comes to The Atlantic‘s piece, but I do know you can’t discount the fact a piece reliant solely on unnamed sources has fewer legs to stand on than Captain Ahab after his prosthetic leg was stolen.

Author: Thomas

I'm a writer and a ranger and a young boy bearing arms. And two out of the three don't count.

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