Sunday, April 19, 2009

Off the record 

Glenn Greenwald writes about the sycophantic practices of Washington journalist Mike Allen in letting an anonymous Bush smear-merchant trash Obama "off the record". About the same incident, Andrew Sullivan writes:
Allen is allowing a member of the administration that broke the Geneva Conventions and committed war crimes to attack the current president and claim, without any substantiation, that the torture worked. He then allows that "top official" to proclaim things that are at the very least highly questionable. What journalistic standard is Allen following in allowing such a person to speak anonymously?
And how much lower can he sink in craving buzz and traffic?
And here's another anecdote about a Washington villager who thought he could stop reporters from attributing remarks he made in a public forum to a thousand people merely by retroactively declaring his public appearance "off the record".
It reminds me of George M. Cohan's song about FDR, "Off the Record", as sung by Jimmy Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy:

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