Letter: Anonymous sources a First Amendment right

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  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 16, 2017 7:47 a.m.

    Rikitikitavi - Cardston, Alberta
    March 14, 2017 7:18 a.m.

    Wouldn't it be nice if the left would realize George Soros DOES NOT have a track record which includes making America great. His last goal IS NOT to put America to work but to sow seeds of discontent. It takes jobs and people working to build a strong nation...not public hand-outs, idleness, liberal arts education, and protesting.
    --------------
    Interesting but incorrect. Let me fix it and correct it for you.

    This is what your comment should say:

    Wouldn't it be nice if the far right and Trump apologists would realize Donald Trump DOES NOT have a track record which includes making America great. His last goal IS NOT to strengthen America but to stroke his ego and enrich and aggrandize himself at our expense. It takes jobs and healthy people working to build a strong nation...not hand-outs for the rich, idleness because of lack of jobs, insufficient education, and lack of ability to have and pay for health care. Thankfully people ate working against his efforts, and trying to make him do what is right for us all, and protesting his efforts to hurt us and the USA.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2017 2:19 p.m.

    Today you cannot believe non-anonymous sources like the Donald on the wiretap claim. Who is the bad(or sick) guy now?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 14, 2017 4:59 p.m.

    Journalists verifying their sources... is not the end of Free Press.

    Requiring journalistic integrity... is not the end of Free Press.

    Not including the press in press briefings is. But before you pile on Trump for doing it, remember that Barack Obama tried this also when he was elected and had a running feud with Fox News and tried banning them from White House Press Briefings.

    It wasn't good then. And it's not good now.

    Verification of sources was needed then, and it's needed now. Whether your source is anonymous or not.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 14, 2017 4:55 p.m.

    Anonymous sources are fine... as long as you can independently verify what they told you.

    If you can do that... all they are is the lead that got you started. But you did your homework and found OTHER sources that verify what the anonymous one told you.

    If zero can be found to verify what the anonymous source told you... you shouldn't report it. Same as you would a non-anonymous source that told you a story that could not be verified.

    Come on journalists. Do your job.

    You're supposed to dig and probe and report on the good the bad and the ugly, but you have to verify. You don't just report what one source tells you and you can't verify (whether source is anonymous or not).

    It's the journalist's job to verify what people tell them. Not just run out and report it as if it's news/fact when it could be one person's imagination.

    Read "Journalism a discipline of verification - American Press Institute"...

    Also "Verification and accuracy - American Press Institute"...

    Also "Essence of Journalism Is Discipline of Verification"...

    If today's "journalists" had dedication to verifying sources before reporting like in old days... we wouldn't have "fake-news".

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 14, 2017 4:45 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards

    "Honest people don't hide when they have something honest to say."

    Trump has been hiding from the media ever since his wiretapping tweets. Put up the evidence Trump; don't let Kellyanne and Spicer contort themselves into pretzels trying to defend you. That is so cowardly. Tillerson has not held a press conference since he took the job. What is he hiding? Chaffetz won't hold another town meeting until 2028 and it will be at some ranch in the Goose Creek mountains in the middle of winter. Why are GOP officials so fearful of confronting reality?

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2017 3:10 p.m.

    First of all, it is often necessary to protect individuals from retribution by remaining anonymous. What is different, is that in the past (like with the Washington Post and Watergate), is that a story would never published until they had at least 2 and usually more, collaboration sources. That is no longer the case. Second, what hypocrisy. Trump demands the news media reveal their sources, when he refuses to reveal any evidence of his claim that the Obama Administration wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2017 1:43 p.m.

    American journalism could not survive without anonymous sources. Yeah, anonymous sources could make stuff up, so that is why good journalists verify information they get before publishing it.

    Anonymous sources are anonymous because if they were not, they would likely: get fired, go to jail, ruin their careers, be reprimanded, not be trusted by colleagues or employers, be sued, lose security clearance, etc., etc.

    So you pick! Do you want a free press and know what is going on in your Country or do you want to restrict the press and go for something more like, say, Cuba or North Korea, or China, or Iran?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2017 1:29 p.m.

    Better to cite the make and location of the microwave that produced the information. or blame Obama.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 14, 2017 12:45 p.m.

    Am I the only one who sees the irony of anonymous posters posting about their right to hide from public view?

    There is nothing in the 1st Amendment that supports anonimity. Read it: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    Expecting a news organization to support their facts by actually using names is necessary today when the media has been caught lying to us for at least eight years. There can be no trust in the media when untrustworthy reporters demand that we trust them - on their word alone. Their word is worthless.

    Trust AFTER verifying. Throw anonymous "facts" in the trash. Those facts can't be verified.

    Honest people don't hide when they have something honest to say.

  • barfolomew TOOELE, UT
    March 14, 2017 11:02 a.m.

    "As veteran newsman Dan Rather once wrote,......."

    Ryan, are you quoting the same Dan Rather that "stepped down" from his position as news anchor at CBS for presenting forged documents (the Killian documents) about George Bush's military service in 2004?

    Are you quoting him because you feel he's a man of integrity when it comes to verifying sources and not trying to use the media for a political agenda?

    Seriously?

    I find that to be deliciously ironic.

    When will they ever learn?

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    March 14, 2017 10:07 a.m.

    George Soros? What happened to originality? As for the corporate media "finally " digging in, it's a year late. There was a time the 4th Estate didn't cater to ratings and the bottom line. potus, more than any history, benefitted from the corporate aspect of the media.

  • Red Crane Layton/Davis, UT
    March 14, 2017 9:47 a.m.

    Just remember, Trump doesn't dislike anonymous sources, he just hates anonymous sources that make him look bad. As per usual, he is absolutely unable to perform self examination. Like the jobs numbers or polls, when they say what he doesn't like, they are phony. When they say what he wants, they are absolute gospel truth.

    Fun flashback, remember when Dick Cheney would leak Iraq misinformation to Judy Miller as an anonymous source, and then reference her columns as evidence of what he was selling.

  • Opinionated Sandy, UT
    March 14, 2017 8:15 a.m.

    The problem is, "from an anonymous source" can often mean "I made it up" or "I used my opinion as fact".

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 14, 2017 8:13 a.m.

    Agreed.

    Donald Trump is trashing the United States Constitution,
    and his trumpette supporters cheer him on for it.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 14, 2017 8:07 a.m.

    In a way, this is good exercise for the press. The days where good, investigative reporters stood in front of buildings or whatever and tell us what they've found need to return, instead of just 'infographics' or something.
    And it has been getting better. Reporters are seeking sources again. Tapper took two minutes to point out just how absurd and wrong this whole 'wiretapping' exercise has been.
    If the media is to be cast as the opposition, they should relish the role, and do their best in it.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2017 7:52 a.m.

    Obama had private meeting with liberal media all the time
    Obama excluded many reporters from briefings

    Trump briefings are actually MORE inclusive with MORE people in the room, which angers the traditional media that didn't have to compete before
    Spicer did NOT exclude the mainstream press from a briefing, he exclude certain outlets from a non-briefing media conversation, but they just happened to be the outlets that Obama usually included in private meetings (while excluding others that Spicer included)

    Obama actually tried to subvert and surveil Peter Rosen and Sheryl Atkinson; So where was the outrage from Trump critics over Obama? And why is Trump a threat to the First Amendment but Obama was not?

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2017 7:41 a.m.

    Questioning anonymous sources and biased press is also a First Amendment right

    Ironically, when outlets like the NYT and CNN announce a recommitment to aggressive questioning of the president, they are basically admitting that they have not been aggressively questioning the previous president

    While media come unhinged over Trumps allegation of wiretapping, shouldn't they first attack the headline in the NYT that inspired Trumps comment? Shouldn't they question the slick and manipulative denial by Obama that contained no actual denial? If they are going to accuse Trump of having no evidence of a wiretap, shouldn't they attack his critics of also having no evidence of Russia a connection?

    The best thing about the First Amendment is the ability to question anonymous hatchet jobs
    The best thing about a free press, is the right for other media to question biased press

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    March 14, 2017 7:18 a.m.

    Wouldn't it be nice if the left would realize George Soros DOES NOT have a track record which includes making America great. His last goal IS NOT to put America to work but to sow seeds of discontent. It takes jobs and people working to build a strong nation...not public hand-outs, idleness, liberal arts education, and protesting.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 14, 2017 5:45 a.m.

    Isn't that ironic.

    Donald Trump throws out bombs like
    - there were 3-5 million illegal votes cast
    - Obama wiretapped Trump Tower

    and he gives no evidence or proof that these claims are true.
    Basically, an anonymous source.