What's with these people shooting their mouths off about this that and
the other and then ....wait for it...here comes that ever-so-oft-used-
"one official said on condition of anonymity because he was not
authorized to speak on the record on the matter."
And yet, these 'news' people print this shit as gospel.
You know what? Your wife is boffing the mailman, but I can't tell you
that because your wife hasn't authorized me to tell you this.
Am I the only one who thinks this is idiotic?
It makes the person giving information feel important, it is also used to
get around "public officials" who do not want the public to know what is
going on. for the most part your feelings about it are right on.
Probably not. But that is another off-topic subject.
What you are referring to is ra "Tip-Off" to the public made through a
reporter. The tipster wishes to give the public a "heads-up" or a wake up
call about something that seems wrong in government. However, the anonymous
tipster has no desire to be a martyr by throwing away his/her
job/home/family to some vengeful power-mongers who may be at fault for a
screw-up (or even criminal activity). After the tip is given, it is up to
the public to use that information any way it chooses. The item may be
investigated or ignored.
That is how it works. The press is just absurdly stilted about how they
label it (due to court decisions). The disclosure of anonymous tips by the
Press is a tradition which goes way back. It is a valuable tool for
fighting political and bureaucratic waste, flaws, abuses, and criminal
No accountability and therefore some hope of keeping their job.
The degree of truthiness on a verbotten topic would be in direct
relation to their odds of getting the boot.
It's an interesting viewpoint that all unattributed information is
worthless. Totally daft, but interesting.
There are several sets of filters to help you separate the wheat from
the chaff, the baby from the bath water, the good from the bad. The
ultimate filter is the one between your ears - at least from your
perspective. that filter may be seriously flawed, but to the
individual it seems damn near perfect. The next filter is the
publisher - I would put more credence in an unattributed source
appearing in an article in the WSJ than in the Enquirer. The next
filter layer is the individual journalist. The same way you can
safely ignore, or steadfastly agree, with a known critic's review of a
movie, you can ignore/agree with a particular journalist.
So, with all of those 'safeguards' in place, and with your damn near
infallible personal filter, what the hell are you going on about?
Exercise your filters instead of a keyboard.
It makes sense to me. The village idiot may pronounce on rocket
science, but so long as he isn't 'authorised to do so' the
village council cannot be held responsible for what he's said.
So when I read some thing reported as you cite, then I know
that I am either reading something coming from a 'whistle
blower' or something from a disgruntled village idiot.
Which makes me somewhat more cautious as to how I integrate
that 'information', and I will also know that there is no way
that I can hold his/her institution to what (s)he's said.
Whereas if somebody who is authorized makes a statement, it's
'official' and you have some legal basis to hold them
responsible for it.
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