Should the New York Times reveal its source?
Published 10:42 pm Thursday, September 6, 2018
The opinion page of any newspaper is always interesting, but things just got way more interesting with an op-ed piece that was published in the New York Times.
Why is this interesting?
The piece was not just any regular Trump-dragging opinion. The opinion supposedly came from inside the White House.
Email newsletter signup
I say supposedly because the piece was anonymous.
The New York Times chose to publish the piece without a name or other identifying factors, because they believe the job of the author would be jeopardized if it was disclosed.
“We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers,” the New York Times posted above the piece online.
This writing has received a significant amount of blowback in just a few days since it was published. Twitter has been blowing up with anger from conservatives and praise from liberals.
The right-wing reaction is getting just a bit dangerous.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted to her following that people should be calling the New York Times opinion desk repeatedly to have them disclose the name of the author.
We already know that right-wing conservatives already dislike the media with their constant screaming of “fake news,” and wearing shirts that talk about lynching members of the media.
People still call and threaten newspapers and their journalists, and Sanders’ tweet is only going to make this worse.
Newspapers are doing an important job, and it’s a job that is necessary for a democratic society to function properly. While using anonymous sources can make the piece seem less credible, journalists work as hard as they can to vet the people providing the information so that their work is credible.
Now mainstream media is in a weird place where the New York Times opinion desk needs to keep their promise to their source unless that source wants to reveal themselves, but now journalists believe that people need to know who the author is.
Personally, I don’t think the author should ever identify themselves, and I don’t think the newspaper should reveal the identity, either. It should remain a secret because the author and those working with the author are doing the work we need right now.
There are people attempting to halt or slow down the president’s agenda, and that is work worth doing.