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Archive for February 26th, 2010

Another foul nest of anonymice in a Times story

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The New York Times parked a travesty of a story on its Web site today reporting that “the Iranians moved roughly 4,300 pounds of low-enriched uranium out of deep underground storage” to a small, above-ground plant, leaving it vulnerable to attack, sabotage or some other suitable, destructive fate. Interesting, but …

The story has no analysis or commentary tag, so presumably it’s a news story. It carries the byline of David E. Sanger, who has written for The Times for more than a quarter of a century and serves as the paper’s chief Washington, D.C., correspondent. He’s a foreign policy and nuclear deproliferation expert, which I am not. He’s a member of two Pulitzer-winning teams at The Times, an exceptional historian, and a damn good writer. But that doesn’t leave him immune from criticism.

It’s irritating that this piece carries only one — that’s one — named source. He expects his readers to swallow a steady diet of anonymice. Worse, Sanger provides no reason for withholding their names. That’s a disservice to readers, who have no way of assessing those grants of anonymity. And Times reporters do this frustratingly, irritatingly often.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

February 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized