The Anonymous SAO, Final Post

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


I’m not sure if anyone still cares, but after noodling over this a bit I think I’m basically convinced by the Atrios/Salmon/Yglesias argument that there’s some real benefit to government briefing sessions that don’t allow direct quotes. Spin will be a big part of these sessions regardless, and if this rule allows government officials to talk like real people instead of worrying that the slightest misstep will produce some headline-worthy gaffe, then it’s probably a useful thing. Felix makes the case pretty well here.

On the other hand, the argument for not being able to attribute your paraphrases to specific officials still seems pretty dodgy. On balance, then, I say: paraphrase rule yes, ID rule no.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate