Anonymous Sources

After all that the previous Administration wrought on journalism with their “Anonymous Sources”, one would think that the use of said “sources” would be met with more than a healthy degree of skepticism. Apparently, this is not the case.

There is no question that some in, and/or around the TNDP are dismayed or angry about losing the race for the Chair. There’s no way around this. Displaced power has two choices; 1. Seek to discredit the newly installed power even if it ultimately hurts the organization that the displaced power once ruled, or 2. Work to ensure the success of said organization because the success of that organization is more important than the success of the displaced power. Unfortunately, from reading the comments on some of the state blogs, it has become clear that elements of the displaced power have chosen option 1.

So, in the wake of this shake-up, reporting on the internal strife may be something that journalists would be interested in. This may mean using “Anonymous Sources”. But if all you have is “Anonymous Sources”, how does anyone check the credibility of those sources? Further, how are we to know if this “Anonymous Source” is reflecting the views of a larger group of people, or pushing a personal agenda? Are we to just assume that the writer has done their homework?

There’s been plenty of evidence in the past several years to suggest that Journo’s haven’t been doing their homework. This is the crux of the argument against using these “Anonymous Sources” without any verifiable source to back their claim, particularly when the report is grounded more in tabloid-esque reporting than the “hard fact” reporting that got it’s ass handed to it thanks to former Administration officials’ use of their anonymity to push a larger agenda.

Is a journalist duty bound to report something if it’s unverifiable, or is it just the manifestation of laziness and sensationalism? What about the cowardice of the “Anonymous Source”? If one truly believes something should they not be willing to stand behind their words? To be honest, this kind of reporting actually hurts the credibility of the writer. Writers can use these sources for background, but when it comes right down to it, relying solely on “Anonymous Sources” is shaky ground. These sources, like cockroaches, seem to scatter when the lights are turned on.

The strife, be it internal or external, at the TNDP is a story that people in Tennessee may be interested in, but there needs to be a greater level of responsibility and accountability when reporting on issues such as this. The writer is in danger of becoming the tool of a small, unrepresentative group of people. Simply stating that no one was willing to go on record would have put this “Anonymous Source” in it’s place, right behind the refrigerator with the other cockroaches. Unfortunately, the aim was more to stir up controversy than to actually report on any conflict within the party, which puts this story on the checkout stand rack, right next to the stories about the coming alien invasion and Oprah’s new diet.

17 thoughts

  1. Given that Forrester has confirmed the truth of the “Nashville Scene” piece, I understand that you are emotionally overwrought, but your commentary is silly at best. Forrester is a disaster. He is destroying the Tennessee Democratic Party. If you want to be a reporter, then be a reporter. Go investigate the party. You’ll see what’s going on.

    1. What a fitting name.

      I’m anything but overwrought. The premise of Mr. Woods’ article was shown to be incorrect. Forrester accepted less pay than his predecessor. Forrester explains his motivation behind any changes to the finance committee. That Mr. Woods did not see fit to seek clarification from Mr. Forrester calls into question both his motivation, and the motivations of the “anonymous sources” that he relied upon. Further, had Mr. Woods sought a statement from the chair, perhaps the tenor of his article would not have suffered from the “gossip girl” style that he has chosen to pursue.

      Your charge that Forrester is “destroying the TNDP” comes with no real evidence of wrongdoing or any real authority. I have neither charged, nor defended Mr. Forrester with anything, and have no reason to believe he is doing anything untoward. The baseless, unsourced, charges of people who have hidden behind their anonymity carry no weight here.

      Once people stop using rumor and innuendo to assassinate the character of a man who has only held a post for 3 weeks, and start showing up with some real, verifiable information we can talk about these charges. Until then, it’s gossip at best, sour grapes at worst.

  2. vibinc,

    You are in total denial. Woods reported that Chipper is trying to oust his finance committee chair, who voted against him, and that the finance committee chair is trying to cut Chipper pay. Chipper confirmed that he, indeed, tried to oust his finance chair and his finance chair, in fact, DID cut his pay. Dig your head in the sand all you like, the house is on fire.

    So, Chipper has raised no money for the TNDP. Can you refute that? But he is accepting a salary that has been reduced to $8,000 a month. How is that different from a CEO taking a huge salary from a company that is about to file for bankruptcy?

    1. Heatseeker,

      Actually, they came to an agreement on $95k/yr. As for ousting the finance chair, isn’t that what people do in the hard-scrabble world of politics oh Mr. knows-so-much insider?

      Woods’ intention was a hit piece, not balanced journalism.

      Show me a disclosure that shows Forrester hasn’t raised any money. You can’t, he’s only been on the job for 3 weeks.

      Truth be told, none of you guys can prove anything except that you can talk a bunch of smack. I wanna know what job you have so I can sit on my ass somewhere and troll up a comment thread and STILL GET PAID. Seriously, it must be awesome!

      You give me hard proof, I’ll give you something other than consternation, but your “word” isn’t good enough for me.

      Thanks, and come again!

  3. Run from the truth all you like, vibinc. No skin off my nose.

    The story I read said that Cheek had served consecutively under several chairs, so, no, ousting the finance chair is not run of the mill. Chipper is running vendettas against his opponents on the executive committee. Do you approve?

    You can attack me all you like, vibinc. It doesn\’t change the fact that Chipper is incompetent, vindictive, and crooked. Do you think it\’s fair that he was going to pay himself $120,000 out of every $500,000 raised? Doesn\’t that smack of CEO\’s taking bailout money as bonuses? Chipper admitted that his salary had been \”cut\” to $95,000. If he can raise $500,000 a year, which is very much in doubt, he will take 20%. Twenty percent!!!!! The CEO of Enron didn\’t even get 20%.

    Vibinc, you can cry, cry, cry 95,000 tears. You can launch all the attacks at me that you like. It won\’t save your party. BTW, I\’m no insider. Never claimed to be. I\’m enjoying watching you idiot Democrats implode.

  4. These weak trolls are the surest sign of desperation on the part of the DLC Democrats. The fact that most of them are Republicans is the surest sign that they have no resources, no friends, and no real power. The Corporate Dems do what they are permitted to do and they are capable of nothing more. Your buddy Bredesen is a wimp.

  5. heatseeker has claimed to be a Gooper, IIRC, at Post Politics, but he sure likes to troll for a Republican. If he really were, he’d sit back and laugh and not get involved.

    I suspect the trolls fall into one of two categories: A) they work for one of the failing PR firms who got the majority of TNDP business over the last few years, or B) work for Bredesen or one of the Congressmen who opposed Forrester.

    Simply put, if they think the Party is in bad shape under Forrester, they can try to help the Party. Either that, or they can eat a bag of dicks. Their choice, really.

  6. You and Cracker have sealed the deal for me. I had pretty much figured I would sit back and see what Chip can do but keep quiet. I\’ve worked with him for years. As the Scene said, he does stupid things. But I was going to give him a chance. But I\’m fed up with Cracker and the other snotty bloggers.

    Cracker, you want to keep taking shots at Bill Fletcher. Fine. Do you know how many races Bill Fletcher has won for Democrats in Tennessee and around the country? What have you done, except sit in front of your computer, eating Cheetos and pontificating? We should turn our elections over to you and Upton. Maybe you could drag enough dead people out of the cemetery to win a few.

    All you people do is take potshots at anyone that has actually done real work for the TNDP over the last 20 years. What have you done? How many hours have you logged on campaigns? You better get ready, hot shots, because those of us that have been working for you won\’t be.

    I\’m through with the Tennessee Democratic Party. Won\’t work for Chip or the type of people following him. You guys have fun running the show yourself. Hope you can keep the lights on.

    Oh, yeah, I\’m not the only one. I\’ll take some people with me. PUMA, baby.

    1. Multiple Personality Disorder is treatable.

      Greetings “Virtual Reality”. “Heatseeker”, “Anonymous Source”, or whoever you claim to be.

      I find it interesting that between the two “Heatseeker” comments there are two IP addresses. I presume one is from work, the other from home.

      However, I find it more interesting that between the 4 comments that these 3 personas have submitted, there is an amazing consistency of IP addresses. This means that either you all live and work in the same place, or you are but one person. What better way to multiply the chaos you aim to spread than to post multiple comments yourself. Thaddeus Matthews does it all the time.

      I can honestly say that I do not know who you are, where you work or live, or anything specific about you other than your IP address and the information it contains. Honestly, it’s not worth my time to expose you personally. It is worth my time to expose your tactic.

      Finally, I find it interesting that you would utter the name of a man I have never mentioned, nor whose name has been mentioned anywhere in connection to anything on this site. What motivation would you have for doing this? What allegation so incensed you that you would go to the trouble of mentioning someone whose name has not come up in conversation?

      I’m just asking…its what I do.

      Whoever you are, you’re slipping. I noticed on Braisted’s blog that you couldn’t even manage to keep your personas straight. I say you quit while you’re ahead, other people may not be as uncurious as I.

  7. My IP will not tell you anything about me, Dick Tracy. Waste all the time you like. And since I have only posted here once, you only have one IP for me. Since I have never posted on Braisted, you are making things up.

    Let me tell you the truth, vibinc, you cannot touch me, even if you knew my identity. I have more cache in this party than you ever will. Also, you had best address the problems with what is now your party rather than worry about who I am. But bring it on, if you are so inclined. I will crush you.

    My comments about Fletcher were directed at Cracker.

    PUMA, baby! PUMA! The Tennessee Democratic Party is dead.

  8. My IP will not tell you anything about me, Dick Tracy. Waste all the time you like. Since I have never posted on Braisted, you are making things up.

    Let me tell you the truth, vibinc, you cannot touch me, even if you knew my identity. I have more cache in this party than you ever will. Also, you had best address the problems with what is now your party rather than worry about who I am. But bring it on, if you are so inclined. I will crush you.

    My comments about Fletcher were directed at Cracker.

    PUMA, baby! PUMA! The Tennessee Democratic Party is dead.

  9. You and Left Hand Wanker are some kind of little Stalists, aren’t you? You have no response to criticism, so you try to threaten the critics into going away. Well, boys, I ain’t. Track my IP addresses all you like. It don’t change the fact that Chipper ain’t got no money. It don’t change the fact that no Democrat with real juice will talk to Chipper. It don’t change the fact that you little peons can’t raise any money. And it don’t change the fact that Democrats can’t win elections in Tennessee. If either you or Wanker really want to know who I am, let me know. I’ll give you my home address. You can come over any time you like, if either of you ever get out of Memphis. Let me warn you, you better pack a lunch before you come.

  10. Well, vibinc, you and Left Hand Wanker really are little Stalinists, aren’t you? You have no response to criticism, so you try to threaten the critics into going away. Guess what, boys, I ain’t going nowhere? Track my IP addresses all you like. It won’t change the fact that all your Democrat elected officials won’t support Chipper. It won’t change the fact that you have no one to run for governor? It won’t change the fact that your party is in debt, but Chipper is raking in twenty percent of all contributions as his salary. Worry about me all you like. I ain’t the one screwing you.

  11. Well, the fact that you won’t identify yourself tells me you’re a gutless punk. I’ve been around long enough to know an important name when I hear it; I have Nashville connections too. If I heard your name and knew it, I might well back off and want to talk to you.

    Otherwise, you’re just an old has-been who can’t deal with the fact that we’re going to drag the TDP into the 21st Century, with or without you. It won’t happen overnight, and it’s not dependent on Forrester or anyone else but the people who WANT to make it happen. I’ve only met Forrester once, and he seemed like a decent chap, just like Bone.

    The mere fact that he understood that the Blue Dogs had led us to disaster appealed to me. I’ve going to help him, and, well, you can either help or take my suggestion from the earlier comments. We don’t turn down anybody who wants to help.

  12. Hey vibinc – email me. We have friends in common and I know what to do with IP addresses. I’m pretty sure I know who is behind these little comments and they are not Republicans – they are bitter Bredesenites who are posting on company time (well, except one of them who is without a job currently…). All they want to do is create chaos, and one of them is well-known for doing this is past campaigns. Reality is just an amateur who is in over her head.

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