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Our reading of this issue is that 90 plus percent of stories where anonymous sources are used are political stories published with the express intent of embarrassing a high government official.

What is not known, and what we suspect, that news stories which use anonymous sources are driven by the source not by the reporter, which lends credence to our contention that political stories are agenda driven by both parties, making the story essentially a non story.

Olsen's treatment of anonymous sources is simple: What should the law be governing anonymous sources under the idea that anonymous sources are always a good thing to use in journalism? I have to disagree that that is the sole issue at hand, if not before the court..

Our experience has been that government agencies, especially the FBI, abuse and are all too willing to exploit a reporters reliance on anonymous sources to taint a suspect. Their pattern is to find a journalist, preferably a young female, and ply her with stories about the brave FBI for a period of time only to later at one point send her some information, under condition of anonymity. This is abuse and is tantamount to misconduct by federal officials.

The practice should stop. If a government official feels so strongly about something that they are willing to "risk" their careers in revealing dubious information, they should risk it and quit. In such a case the information given is untainted by any potential charges of agenda driven reportage.

We think Olsen et al, are missing a rather grave danger to this system anyway. Meet Matt Drudge, an internet reporter who is essentially a gossip columnist. We have had basically three year experience of blogs making or changing news by commenting on published stories. How long will it be before we start to see literally hundreds of Drudges willing to use an anonymous sources to drive their views and agenda? How many bloggers will be famous when they start their blog and use anonymous sources to advance a personal agenda or even to expose the truth?

The outcome to such a massive influx of Drudge like reporters will be interesting to watch. It will test any SCOTUS ruling on anonymous stories to the absolute max and probably beyond.

It will be fun to watch.

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