Anonymous sources are as a much a part of the mainstream media news business as is their greater scrutiny of Republican leaders than Democratic ones. And both methods can lead to the same credibility pitfalls.
News sources are vital to media outlets looking to beat their competition to the punch in reporting juicy bits of news, especially when official press conferences and press releases are slow to come. Promising anonymity allows journalists to protect sources who are nervous about releasing information that could get them in trouble with their supervisors.
But the use of anonymous sources can have its darker side. According to New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen, who was ironically interviewed by CNN in a piece about the dangers of anonymous sources, the history of their use goes back to 18th century when political losers leaked information to the press in order to hurt their opponents. In other words, the practice of using anonymous sources came into this world as a political weapon.
That doesn’t seem to have changed with CNN. A growing awareness among the public of CNN repeatedly reporting inaccurate or misleading news received from their army of anonymous sources has become a big blow to their credibility. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that it’s caused the whole practice of using those types of sources to get hit with widespread criticism.
And you know it’s bad when even CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer is shaming his network’s own chief political analyst on live television for overusing sources — especially unreliable ones. Watch what happened, as presented hilariously by conservative media analyst Mark Dice.
Other analysts have also wondered if CNN’s clear bent toward destroying President Trump is making them too quick to jump at any anonymous source who has information that might make him look bad. And CNN is certainly not the only left-leaning mainstream media outlet under scrutiny for this.
What do you think of this? Mark Dice recently helped expose a news scene that CNN appeared to fabricate in order to push their political agenda.