In his July 3 column, Raleigh News & Observer public editor Ted Vaden said:
What Vaden calls "the current animus against anonymous sources" is actually a well-founded and growing public distrust of how MSM sometimes use anonymous sources.
Let's don't get so spooked by the current animus against anonymous sources, much of it fanned by talk show hosts and bloggers who love to hate the "mainstream media," that we deprive readers of information that can't be obtained any other way. (Bold mine)
Remember the anonymous source Dan Rather and CBS used as the basis for a story about the President's National Guard service? The public was told by CBS its source was "unimpeachable."
Then, thanks primarily to bloggers' reporting, we learned who CBS's "unimpeachable" source was: longtime Bush-hater and Democratic Party activist Bill Burkett.
We also learned that as a condition of providing what turned out to be fake documents, Burkett demanded CBS arrange for him to speak to Joe Lockhart, a high-ranking staffer in Sen. Kerry's campaign. CBS quickly complied; and Lockhart made sure to call Burkett.
The public isn't growing distrustful of MSM's source use because of "bloggers who love to hate" MSM. It's growing distrustful because its watching and listening to both MSM and bloggers, sifting through the facts, and behaving reasonably.
Blogger Ed Driscoll has a terrific post detailing MSM's often testy and defensive animus toward bloggers who are just providing facts MSM should have provided in the first place.
Hat Tip: Glenn Reynolds.