The Atlantic editor replies to critics.

I suppose if Trump uses anonymous sources as in “everyone knows that”, or “so I’ve been told” or “we’ll be investigating”, then we are on firm ground with Mr. Goldberg’s article, IMHO

“We all have to use anonymous sources, especially in a climate where the president of the United States tries to actively intimidate,” Goldberg said of his editorial decision to cite nameless people. “These are not people who are anonymous to me.”Carl Bernstein, the investigate reporter known for breaking the Watergate story that took down President Richard Nixon, told Stelter on Reliable Sources Sunday that anonymous sourcing is often a crucial tool for reporters.”Almost all 200 of our stories about Watergate were based on anonymous sourcing,” he said. Bernstein added that during the Trump era, “reporting is almost uniformly based on anonymous sourcing in part because that’s the only way we can get to the truth.”

29 thoughts on “The Atlantic editor replies to critics.

    1. We shall see. I believe those in attendance may not have actually witnessed the incident themselves, but others apparently did. Bolton just said he did not witness that particular one, but doesn’t refute that Trump could very well have said those words to others.

      With Trump’s track record of smearing people in general, and some military in particular, I believe the story has a lot of truth. And much of the other stuff was corroborated by others in the media, including dear FOX.

      News at 11.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And… knowing Bolton, he could have said it in front of Bolton, too, but just not at the time and place in question.

        When you ask these guys a question, you cannot leave wiggle room. Remember, a bunch of lawyers, who every last one of them got caught in illicit affairs, couldn’t just ask if Clinton had engaged in oral sex. Instead, they constructed some bizarre definitions with holes big enough for a Mack truck. No insult to Monica.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. RE: “I believe those in attendance may not have actually witnessed the incident themselves, but others apparently did.”

        What others? It’s pittiful to say things you can’t prove.


        1. The sources were well known to the reporter and other sources corroborated through other news agencies.

          I guess that is not good enough for you, but it will have to do for now.

          If Trump didn’t have a well documented history of disparaging, insulting, spitting on, and whatever else you call it, members of the military, POW’s and Gold Star families, he might have some leeway.

          But as it is, he is not entitled to anything but contempt from 3/5’s of Americans who are proud of their soldiers.


          Liked by 2 people

    2. Perhaps if the anonymous sources were offered a witness protection program we might see a lot more come forward. Trump, after all, has pretty good Mafia and Russian gangster connections.

      And we know he loves to retaliate. Michael Cohen was released to serve his time at home because of his health and COVID. Trump, er, ah, I mean the administration, demanded a signed contract that Cohen would not release his book for another year or so. He refused, so they tried to put him back in prison. A judge did not agree, and did so by taking the administration to task for political retaliation.

      Cohen could probably have been pardoned like all of Trump’s other partners in crime, but he certainly won’t get one now. And he was the most loyal consiglieri a person like Trump could have. Until Trump dumped him.

      Loyalty is not a strong suit of the president.

      IMHO in case my name pops up on some conspiracy blog.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. …”Bernstein added that during the Trump era, “reporting is almost uniformly based on anonymous sourcing in part because that’s the only way we can get to the truth.””

      Truth, the REAL anti-Trump.


      1. But with anonymous sources, you have no way to know if it is the truth. You don’t even know if there was a source at all.

        I could as easily claim that anonymous sources have told me that Kamala Harris engages in perverted sex acts involving the flagellation of frogs. (That was a rumor actually circulated on college campuses about Richard Nixon as part of a sociology experiment)

        How do you challenge my anonymous source?


        1. How do YOU defend Trump who has documented over 20,000 lies (at last count).

          Reality seems to take a back seat to those who live under the view of Le Grande Orange (My HUMBLEST apologies to the original Le Grande Orange, the dearly departed Rusty Staub)


          1. Really? You’re kidding right? Documented, mistruths, lies, and utter bullshit that has to be cleaned up regularly by his communications staff is a lie? You, sir, are lying to yourself.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Without reliable anonymous sources you would be totally in the dark about your over bearing government.

          This hold true for no matter which party is in charge.

          True, occasionally the sources are not good, or conflicted or have an ax to grind. But with a media as open and free wheeling as ours, it is the best insurance we have against government abuse.

          With Putin, there is no inconvenient pain in the ass press to worry about. Anonymous sources tend to end up dead or gone. Never mind the journalists.

          Obama tried to clamp down on leakers and the reporters and caught a lot of crap from everyone. Conservatives loved it then.

          Face it, Don, if your job was dependent upon your anonymity, it makes it hard to give information with your name attached. Look at the retaliation by Trump for anyone who doesn’t kiss his butt, never mind report the transgressions we should know about. This doesn’t even consider the death threats that are so much the norm today.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. There is not such thing as a reliable anonymous source.

            Certainly, sometimes they are telling the truth, but once they are refuted buy those who will do so publicly, they can no longer be relied upon.

            Those who come forward can be challenged and cross examined, that provides fairness for those accused by them. But those who cannot be cross examined must be dismissed as a matter of fairness.


  1. September 7, 2020

    “And it’s one of the reasons the military — I’m not saying the military is in love with me; the soldiers are. The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”

    So, you don’t think he would call the fallen suckers and losers, but he calls their leaders “war profiteers” who take advantage of the ranks. Wait, what does Trump call people who get taken advantage of, again?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “… what does Trump call people who get taken advantage of, again?“

      “Suckers” and “losers”?

      I bet that is what he called his “students” at Trump U. At least until he settled the lawsuits for fraud with a check for $25 million.

      Bottom line is that it is so not out of character for Trump to call our soldiers and sailors suckers and losers.

      And that is his problem.

      Wonder what he really thinks of his base?

      IMHO in case I get arrested.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Mr Trump’s comment sort of reminds me of someone else.

      “While we recognize the imperative need for this development…We must not fail to comprehend its grave implications we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence…The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”


  2. Hopefully, most of us reading and commenting upon things on this site neither need a media chaperone nor condone censorship.

    I have serious doubts that President Trump described the dead in the Aisne-Marne cemetery being full of losers back in November, 2018.

    Had he said that? I’d safely wager than SECDEF Jim Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly (both retired Marine Generals) would’ve immediately resigned.

    Further, once word got out:
    -most, if not all, of the Joint Chiefs (JCS) and a large number of active duty flag officers would’ve submitted their retirement papers;
    -all service branches would be struggling to meet recruiting goals;
    -Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh would’ve held him as “persona non grata”;
    -et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.


    1. Honestly, I think you are not considering that the general staff gives a lot of deference to the Commander in Chief. They willingly took positions in Trump’s cabinet and White House staff after hearing him disparage McCain as a loser because he was captured.

      Please recall that those early military appointments, “my generals” were accepted because of the hope of having “adults in the room”.

      As far as Hannity and Limbaugh go, they would support Trump shooting on Fifth Ave. And as NN pointed out, Trump has again attacked the military by called the generals war profiteers. This is about two years after he insulted them in a meeting as a bunch of babies. .

      So, yeah, that kind of insult regarding “losers” is definitely part and parcel all Trump all the time.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. The helicopter/weather allegation was debunked by emails and weather reports and at least 21 people with actual names — including never-Trumpers — have gone on the record to debunk the rest of it.

    In the world of real journalism, that is as debunked as it gets.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous sources told me that Biden and Harris were heard saying all liberal Democrats are a bunch of ignorant saps that will buy any crap they lay on the table. They laughed and laughed that their ardent supporters were too stupid to know any better or think for themselves. In addition, they were heard saying Biden will come out as a black girl and Harris as a white boy very soon. I can’t wait.


    1. “Anonymous sources told me “…

      I appreciate the sarcasm of your post…

      HOWEVER, You are not a reputable reporter who has cultivated numerous sources in over 40 years of investigative journalism. Many of them are called ‘anonymous”, but they are posited that way in order for them to truthfully report about things they have knowledge of without suffering blowback.

      It is a very common technique used by journalists, regardless of political bent.


      1. It is a common technique used by supposed journalists to report non-existant and/or untruthful bullshit that only ignorant saps buy into because they want to believe it. Plain and simple, you can’t tell if it is true or not so by default, it’s not true. Here’s your flag…


        1. So when Trump can’t or won’t divulge his
          source of information other than “I’ve been told” or “everybody knows that” his followers are ignorant saps that buy in because they want to believe.

          We finally agree and you have seen the light.
          Welcome to the real world.


          1. Asserting something as fact to be reported in media that is based on unverifiable hearsay is completely different than saying “I heard” or “everyone knows”. Spreading those is called opinion. I heard liberals are unbearably smug and ignorant and believe it but I am not reporting that as fact in the news based on what I heard.


          2. I hate to break this to you, but you are not the president of the United States.

            And since many of his followers don’t believe anything unless he, or Hannity, says it…well, that’s a problem in my book.

            He admitted on record that he lied about the COVID. About 200,000 people, so far, paid the price.


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