Glenn Greenwald @ Salon.com
(updated below - Update II)
The Washington Post's Anne Kornblut today produces an extreme piece of government-serving, stenographic "journalism," publishing a dubious administration press release masquerading as a lengthy news article on Obama's approach to Terrorism and civil liberties. The Post depicts Obama as heavily and heroically engaged in disrupting the alleged Najibullah Zazi domestic terrorist plot and -- repeatedly highlighting that success -- claims "the White House has been charting a delicate course as it attempts to turn the page on Bush-era anti-terrorism policies," whereby "the Obama administration is increasingly confident that it has struck a balance between protecting civil liberties, honoring international law and safeguarding the country." Here are all of Kornblut's cited sources for the article -- every last one of them -- in the order she cites them:
Obama aides pointed . . . administration officials said . . . a senior administration official said . . . officials said . . . a senior administration official said . . . senior Obama officials stressed . . . a senior administration official said . . . aides said . . . officials said . . . one senior administration official said. . . . one senior official said. . . . The official said . . . a senior administration official said . . . a senior administration official said . . . administration officials said . . . . a senior official said.
Not a single named person is cited, and there's not a syllable of quoted dissent in any of it. Virtually every sentence in the long article does nothing but praise Obama and depict him as stalwartly safeguarding America's civil liberties (unlike Bush did) even as he protects us from the dangerous Terrorists, so why is anonymity needed for that? It's nothing more than what Robert Gibbs is eager to say every day. Nor is there a hint of who these officials are, what the basis is of their knowledge, or why The Post granted anonymity, all of which are flagrant violations of the Post's own so-called "anonymity rules," which its own Ombudsman -- just six weeks ago -- complained are "routinely ignored":
"Hello to our friends and fans in domestic surveillance."