Sunday, September 04, 2005

Bad Reporting

The Washington Post and Newsweek have now both run the exact same claim easily demonstrated to be false that Louisianna Governor Blanco was "slow to declare a state of emergency," and that this delay prompted the slow Federal response. All they had to do was look at the declaration of a State of Emergency dated August 26 to tell that this was bogus. Just because an anonymous White House tipster tells you something doesn't mean its true, how could it possibly hurt to, after recieving this tip, go check it out and see that its true. As Josh Marshall notes.
But in this case, this is a straightforward factual assertion. What you do in such a case is find out whether it's true or not. If it is, you don't need to source it to your tipster. You run it as a fact. What you don't do is take an interested party's say-so on an easily verifiable claim and run it as a blind quote.

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