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Newspaper, Headline, BylineAnonymously sourced passageWho benefits? Source? Reporter? Reader?AssessmentRating
(5=awful,
0=OK)
DateByline1Byline2Byline3BeatContributorContributors'
comments

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Los Angeles Times—Leaks, focus on single suspect undercut anthrax probe, by David Willman"They exhausted a tremendous amount of time and energy on him," said one of the FBI agents involved with the case who spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.ReporterWhy give an FBI agent protective cover to state the obvious about the Steven Hatfill/anthrax investigation?56/28/2008Willman, DavidNational

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Los Angeles Times—Number of abortions rising in Middle East, experts say, by Borzou Daragahi"If access to contraceptives was widely and freely available, abortion wouldn't be necessary," said an official at a Western family planning organization in Yemen. She spoke on condition of anonymity for fear her organization would be targeted.ReporterHad the source said something substantive, you could call her a whistleblower. But this quotation appears, it seems, to show that the reporter actually talked to real people.56/29/2008Daragahi, BorzouInternational

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Los Angeles Times—Pentagon paints a bleak picture for Afghan south, by Peter Spiegel and Julian E. Barnes"The Marines have been highly successful," said a senior Pentagon official, who requested anonymity when discussing internal decision-making. "The question will be how do we build upon that to get to the stability and hold endgame."Source and Reporter"I'm doing an excellent job," said the press critic who doesn't like to take credit for his brilliance. "The question is, How can I do any better?"56/29/2008Spiegel, PeterBarnes, Julian E.Afghanistan

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Los Angeles Times—The rise and fall of a Sons of Iraq warrior, by Ned Parker"The coalition twisted Maliki's arm on the committee," the official said on condition of anonymity, referring to the prime minister's decision to create the body last year. "And now he has decided, we don't need it. As far as he is concerned, this is an American problem."Source and ReporterArm-twisting by a coalition sounds like the work of contortionists. There's not enough info here to judge the approximate truth value of the information.46/29/2008Parker, NedIraq

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Los Angeles Times—Nigerian conflicts tighten oil bottleneck, by Paul RichterSome senior U.S. military and North Atlantic Treaty Organization officials have urged the Bush administration to build up Nigeria's weak coastal navy, or even use U.S. naval vessels along with other regional forces to patrol Nigerian waters, said officials who spoke about the internal discussions on condition of anonymity.ReporterThis attribution is fuzzier than a Georgia peach. "Some senior ... officials" is laughably nonspecific, and "urging" somebody to do something isn't very solid, either. How many "officials" spoke to the reporter? Was it two or 20?46/29/2008Richter, PaulCrime

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Los Angeles Times—San Bernardino's 'Dead Presidents' murder trial exposes gang intrigue, greed, by Sam Quinones"You grow up with somebody 15 or 20 years and he tries to kill you," said a gang member who grew up with the Agudos and Mendozas, and requested anonymity for fear of reprisal.ReporterHasn't everyone been almost murdered by a longtime acquaintance? The information gained is hardly worth the granting of anonymity.46/29/2008Quinones, SamCrime

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Washington Post—Pakistani Forces Move In On Taliban: U.S. has urged action against insurgents, by Candace RondeauxA military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed that some of the bodies had been mutilated.ReaderGive the Post credit for confirming the mutilations, but dock it a point for not telling the reader why the source must be anonymous. Reported in a war zone, so it gets a couple of bonus points.36/29/2008Rondeaux, CandaceInternational

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Los Angeles Times—Who will Obama and McCain pick for running mates?, by Doyle McManusPeople around Obama have confirmed that [Evan Bayh] is under consideration. The Indiana senator, a moderate, was a prominent Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter in the primaries, so his choice would be another step toward party unity. "There's a lot to recommend him," said one Democratic strategist who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Obama campaign has banned any comments on the selection process.ReporterThis empty assessment could be applied to anybody whose name as been mentioned as a possible veep. Talk about zero information content. And this was written by the Los Angeles Times' Washington bureau chief!56/30/2008McManus, DoylePolitics

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Los Angeles Times—Britain contends with widening terror threat, by Sebastian Rotella"Here was a man with a borderline IQ and mental problems who was apparently recruited by extremists," said a senior British anti-terrorism official, who asked to remain anonymous because of restrictions on discussing investigations. "It's a method that we are aware of in Iraq. This shows we have to expand our attention to new areas where radicalization can take place. Not just prisons or schools, but mental institutions and the mentally ill."ReporterThe quotation adds little new information other than to show that the reporter talked to an anonymous source.56/30/2008Rotella, SebastianTerrorism

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New York Times—Siemens Is Said to Be Preparing To Cut More Than 17,000 Jobs, by David JollySiemens, the German engineering and electronics company, plans to cut 17,200 mostly white-collar jobs as it reorganizes to reduce its cost base, a person who has been briefed on the plans said on Sunday. ...

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans will not be officially announced until the Siemens workers’ council meets with management on July 7 about the layoffs.
Source and ReporterIs it worth granting anonymity to a "person" for giving a sneak peak at staff reductions? A case could be made if the "person" was a company insider or a union official. As written, the vague anonymous sourcing encourages readers to speculate that the leak is part of the PR gambit by Siemens. 46/30/2008Jolly, DavidBusiness

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New York Times—U.S. Advised Iraqi Ministry on Oil Deals, by Andrew E. KramerThe advisers—who, along with the diplomatic official, spoke on condition of anonymity—say that their involvement was only to help an understaffed Iraqi ministry with technical and legal details of the contracts and that they in no way helped choose which companies got the deals.ReaderThe information content in this anonymously sourced article appears to be high, or at least falsifiable, which recommends it. And the sources don't appear to be self-serving.16/30/2008Kramer, Andrew E.Iraq

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New York Times—Networks Lie Low on Actors’ Contract, by Bill Carter“Last year we were being told every day: ‘I want to see a plan,’” said a senior program executive at a third network, who, like all the executives who spoke for this article, requested anonymity because of an agreement not to speak on the record about what action the networks might take in the event of a strike. “So far, no one has asked to see a plan about what we’ll do if the actors go out. If they were worried, they’d be in our faces every day, asking, ‘Are you guys ready?’”Source and reporterI've gleaned more useful data from infomercials.57/1/2008Carter, BillBusiness

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Los Angeles Times—Recipient of Countrywide VIP loan says he sought no favors, by E. Scott ReckardOther top executives at the company also were authorized to make VIP loans, but no one rivaled the numbers put up by [Countrywide Financial Corp. Chief Executive Angelo R.] Mozilo, a former Countrywide executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he had not been authorized to discuss the program.Source and reporterInfo content: low. Specificity: low. Self-service quotient for the source: high.47/1/2008Reckard, E. ScottBusiness

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New York Times—India Leader Struggles to Complete Nuclear Deal, by Somini SenguptaThe prime minister, determined to make the nuclear accord a legacy of his administration, has concluded that his private talks with the Communists reached “a dead end,” said a government official who spoke with him. Because of the delicacy of the issue, this official, and others in New Delhi and Washington, spoke on condition of anonymity.Reporter and maybe the sourceBecause every diplomatic initiative is "delicate," reporters on diplomatic beats overrely on anonymously sourced information. Be suspicious of passages like these, which sometimes read like a message from the source to another part of the diplomatic community. Specifically, is the Times carrying the Indian government's message to the Communists about being fed up?47/1/2008Sengupta, SominiInternational

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Washington Post—Iraq Opens Oil Fields To Global Bidding: 60% Increase In Output Sought, by Sudarsan Raghavan and Steven Mufson"How this is going to be done is an open question, and I don't think anyone in the oil industry expects that's going to be resolved anytime soon," said an oil company official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because his company is in the midst of negotiations with Iraq. ….

An official at one of the companies, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because negotiations were continuing, said each contract could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, including the cost of some new equipment. Each of the five contracts would set a goal of increasing oil output by 100,000 barrels a day by late 2009 or mid-2010.
Source and reporterCouldn't the reporters have figured out that the contracts would be worth hundreds of millions without relying on anonymous sources? 47/1/2008Raghavan, SudarsanMufson, StevenIraq

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Washington Post—European Lawmaker To Sue U.S. Over Data: Suit Illustrates Sticking Point in Transatlantic Pact, by Ellen NakashimaA DHS official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because department officials generally do not discuss specific cases, said that in't Veld was not "on any list," including the no-fly list, and that she had not sought redress through DHS's Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP).ReaderThe excuse given—"because department officials generally do not discuss specific cases"—would apply to, what, 10 million government employees? The saving grace here is that the quantum of information revealed—Veld is not on any list—is real.37/1/2008Nakashima, EllenNational

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Washington Post—Mugabe tells African peers to examine own records, by Ellen KnickmeyerZimbabwe's foreign minister told counterparts at the meeting that reports of voter intimidation were exaggerations by foreign news media and the U.S. government, according to two observers of the session who spoke on the condition of anonymity.ReaderZimbabwe is a near-war zone. The sources, while not identified by the reporter, are still identifiable to the vindictive foreign minister.17/1/2008Knickmeyer, EllenInternational

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Washington Post—Wizards offer Arenas top dollar, by Ivan Carter"It's going to happen—he's going to be here," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The question is how much is he going to take and what impact is it going to have on us going forward? The ball is in his court now."ReporterAn anonymously sourced sports article about salary negotiations? Please say it ain't so.57/2/2008Carter, IvanSports

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Washington Post—Google ad deal is under scrutiny, by Peter Whoriskey Investigators are planning to demand documents not only from Google and Yahoo, but also from other large companies in the Internet and media industries, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.ReporterMultiple sources, and he can't get somebody talk. Also, is the information collected really that important?57/2/2008Whoriskey, PeterBusiness

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New York Times—Poland Won’t Sign European Treaty, by Stephen Castle and Judy DempseyAn official in Mr. Sarkozy’s administration, asked on Tuesday about the comment from the Polish president, said it was possible that European nations might move at different speeds toward unity, something most experts see as unworkable. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the issue, ruled out further expansion without the treaty.SourceThere's that word "delicacy" again.57/2/2008Castle, StephenDempsey, JudyInternational

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New York Times—Drivers’ Strike Stalls New York City Construction, by Steven Greenhouse“That is absolutely not a correct number or a correct version of events,” said a member of [Local 282 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters] bargaining team, who insisted on anonymity because union officials said they would not negotiate in the news media. “And I’m surprised that a member of management’s bargaining team would be saying these things in public.”SourceCan you trust a member of the Teamsters bargaining team to tell the truth?47/2/2008Greenhouse, StevenMetro

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Washington Post—Letter Sent to Correctional Officers Urges Cooperation, by Ruben Castaneda, Ovetta Wiggins, and Avis Thomas-LesterAccording to the jail employee interviewed today, another officer gave state police a statement this morning. The source asked to remain anonymous because the investigation is ongoing.ReaderIt's a story about a guy murdered in his jail cell after being arrested for running over and killing a police officer. War zone. A total reportorial war zone.37/2/2008Castaneda, RubenWiggins, OvettaThomas-Lester, AvisMetro

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New York Times—Helmsley Left Dogs Billions in Her Will, by Stephanie Strom[Leona Helmsley's] instructions, specified in a two-page “mission statement,” are that the entire trust, valued at $5 billion to $8 billion and amounting to virtually all her estate, be used for the care and welfare of dogs, according to two people who have seen the document and who described it on condition of anonymity.ReaderWhat is it that Bob Woodward likes to say? Something like, Is the information any good? If it is, then the anonymity is a price worth paying.17/2/2008Strom, StephanieNational

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Los Angeles Times—U.S. spies on Iraqi army, sources say, by Greg Miller"The bad news is we're spying on Iraqis," said the former military official. "The good news is that we have to."

The former military official and several other sources described the operation on condition of anonymity because of its sensitivity. The Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies declined to comment.
ReaderThe sourcing on this is sketchy, but let's give it a national-security exemption because the government doesn't deny it, and the information is remarkably specific.07/2/2008Miller, GregIraq

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New York Times—A lucrative deal for Rush Limbaugh, by Brian StelterSean Hannity, the country’s No. 2 host according to Talkers Magazine, is in contract talks with his current syndication company, ABC Radio, as well as Premiere, for a potential three-way deal, according to two sources close to the negotiations. They requested anonymity because the deal had not been signed.ReporterHow much do we care? Enough for two anonymice to stick their noses into the Times?57/3/2008Stelter, BrianBusiness

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Washington Post—McCain puts new strategist atop campaign, by Dan Balz and Michael D. Shear "There's not a cogent message," one Republican strategist said yesterday, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "They've been attacking Obama every day, but it doesn't tie back to an overarching theme that McCain believes in." Source and reporterSurely the strategist has a dog in the fight. Is he co-opting the Post?57/3/2008Balz, DanShear, Michael D.Politics

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Los Angeles Times—Warriors make offer to Elton Brand, by Jonathan AbramsIn a whirlwind that amounted to "who has the salary cap space now?" the Golden State Warriors reached deep down the coastline and even deeper into their pocketbooks, offering free-agent forward Brand a five-year, $90-million contract, according to multiple NBA sources who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about player movements.ReporterMore anonymously sourced sports articles about negotiations? Does it really matter that much?57/3/2008Abrams, JonathanSports

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Washington Post—Colombians briefed McCain before rescue, by Juliet Eilperin"I don't think that there is an established protocol" for such briefings, said a McCain aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. " 'Protocol' is not a word I would associate with this." ReporterI'm not sure what the anonymous source is saying, so I assume the reporter benefited from this exchange.57/3/2008Eilperin, JulietNational

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Los Angeles Times—Postelection violence in Mongolia leaves 5 dead, by Mark MagnierHowever, one Mongolian who requested anonymity for fear of losing his job said he had heard that special technology allowed the ruling party to inflate its vote counts.ReporterThis sounds more like a tip than information. I don't like it.57/3/2008Magnier, MarkInternational

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New York Times—Colombia plucks hostages from rebels' grasp, by Simon RomeroOne American official who was briefed on the operation but spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed the intelligence support to Colombia for the mission, but would not provide details.ReaderThe information is vague and specific at the same time. Reported from a virtual war zone on deadline. I'm gonna be a softee on this one.17/3/2008Romero, SimonInternational

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Washington Post—Celebrity passport records popular, by Glenn KesslerBut one official said there would be little reason to look at the files unless a passport was being renewed or information was being updated. "It should be zero or one time over five years for the normal average American," he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. ReporterThe salient information here—that a passport file is only interesting if it has been recently updated—shouldn't be that difficult to source. 57/4/2008Kessler, GlennNational

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Los Angeles Times—Baron Davis confident he'll be playing with Elton Brand, by Jonathan AbramsBrand received a new contract offer for five years and about $70 [million] from the Clippers, but the revitalized-salary-cap space Warriors swept in with a five-year, $90-million offer, according to multiple NBA sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss free-agent dealings.ReporterThe second of two anonymously sourced articles by Abrams in one week. Sheesh!57/4/2008Abrams, JonathanSports

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Los Angeles Times—White House debates the future of Guantanamo, by Julian E. Barnes"We have a lot of demand for legal talent, and our resources are finite," said a Pentagon lawyer. "But the word is they want to move forward energetically, and they need prosecutors, defense counsel and support personnel. So we are saluting smartly."

The attorney, like other officials interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity because no decisions about Guantanamo had been made.
ReporterStyrofoam-to-package quotient very high. Demand for legal talent is high? No kidding. Resources finite? That's true even at a lemonade stand. Is the source really saying anything?57/4/2008Barnes, Julian E.Politics

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Los Angeles Times—Pakistan makes little headway in Benazir Bhutto investigation, by Laura King The key players in the killing—those who financed the operation and recruited the assailants—remain at large, said a senior police official, speaking on condition of anonymity.ReporterIs it news that the key players haven't been arrested? If it isn't, why give somebody anonymity to say it?57/4/2008King, LauraInternational

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New York Times—U.S. pushes U.N. sanctions on Zimbabwe and Mugabe, by Neil MacFarquharEven if the United States does not press a final vote, supporters believe having the threatened sanctions on the table serves as a useful prod. “Let’s have it out there as a cloud over the situation which people have to take into consideration as the mediation goes forward,” said one Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity according to his ministry’s rules.ReporterDiplomats like to have sanctions in their arsenals? Tell me something I don't know.57/4/2008MacFarquhar, NeilInternational

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New York Times—After six years, family reunion for ex-hostage, by Simon Romero and Anahad O'ConnorOn Thursday, three American officials in Washington, speaking on the condition of anonymity while citing the sensitivity of the assistance, confirmed that the United States provided intelligence to support the operation. They offered few details about the intelligence support, but one intelligence official said that the United States provided satellite imagery to the Colombian government as it planned the operation.Reader, just barelyA lot of styrofoam for a very small package. But the information is specific, useful to the reader, and may not be obtainable any other way.37/4/2008Romero, SimonO'Connor, AnahadInternational

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Washington Post—Debate over Guantanamo's fate intensifies, by Dan Eggen and Josh WhiteUnder one scenario being considered by President Bush's Cabinet, about 80 detainees would remain at the facility in Cuba to be tried by military commissions, and about 65 others would be turned over to their native countries, according to several sources familiar with the talks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. ReaderHighly specific information from several sources. But how many is several, I'd like to know.17/4/2008Eggen, DanWhite, JoshPolitics

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Washington Post—President remains a skilled fundraiser, by Dan EggenOne senior McCain campaign official, who insisted on anonymity to speak candidly, pointed to previous campaigns by Democrat Al Gore in 2000 and Republican George H.W. Bush in 1988, when both candidates sought to chart their own path from an incumbent president of the same party. "Gore took heat for not being out there with Clinton, and here we are taking heat for being too close to Bush," the official said. "This is a dance and a procedure that takes place anytime you have an incumbent president."
ReporterZzzzzzzzzzzz.57/5/2008Eggen, DanPolitics

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New York Times—Questions of size and taste for Queens houses, by Kirk Semple“I could spit and throw up,” said a Forest Hills resident of 51 years as she stood with her husband outside a big house under construction at 112th Street and 68th Avenue. The woman, who like other opponents interviewed for this story spoke only on condition of anonymity, admitted that she had never spoken with any of the Bukharian newcomers.Source and reporterThe sources get to comment on their neighbors' poor taste but don't have to put their names to it?57/5/2008Semple, KirkMetro

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Wall Street Journal—U.S. News: U.S. Arrests 2 Supervisors at Agriprocessors, by Miriam JordanThe raid exposed allegations that workers at the sprawling plant, which employed more than 900 people, were underpaid, physically abused, sexually harassed and extorted. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a U.S. government official who has visited the plant described the operation as "medieval." An investigation is still under way, and a court spokesman declined to disclose whether more arrests are likely.ReporterA plant that employs 900-plus people must have been viewed by an outside source who would put his name to an assessment of it.57/5/2008Jordan, MiriamBusiness

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Los Angeles Times—Indonesia seeks to shut down Navy lab researching avian flu, by Paul Watson"Sometimes you test a virus and you don't know if it's avian influenza, or normal flu or something completely different," said a Western scientist who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.ReporterSometimes you blind test beers and you don't know which one is the Budweiser, either.57/5/2008Watson, PaulInternational

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Los Angeles Times -- Iran gives positive response to nuclear incentive proposal, by Borzou Daragahi and Ramin MostaghimIran delivered a "constructive" preliminary response Friday to a package of incentives meant to persuade it to curtail parts of its nuclear program, European and Iranian officials said.

Iran's ambassador to Belgium delivered a letter signed by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to the office of European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Brussels late Friday. Western diplomats declined to disclose details of either the letter or a phone conversation Solana had earlier in the day with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili. ...

"The content of the letter is going to be read and analyzed before we respond to the Iranians," said a European diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. "More will be known in the coming days."
ReporterAs opposed to "We're going to respond to the Iranians without reading the letter"?47/5/2008Daragahi, BorzouMostaghim, RaminInternational

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Washington Post—Woman accused in tax scam is aiding probe, by Del Quentin WilberHarriette Walters, the former city worker accused of orchestrating the thefts, has been interviewed by prosecutors and federal agents at least five times in meetings that began in February. The most recent session was in May, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk publicly about ongoing investigations. ReaderCrime stories are like war stories: Anonymous sourcing is the price you have to pay if you want to read them. This one is specific, and the Post has a good reputation for not being in the pocket of prosecutors or defense attorneys. It passes.37/5/2008Helderman, Rosalind S.Metro

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New York Times—Despair drives suicide attacks by Iraqi women, by Alissa J. Rubin“If there’s one single trend that I see, it’s the women’s relationship with the male figures that were members of A.Q.I. and were captured or killed,” said a senior military analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing information that had not been released publicly.ReaderIraq is still a war zone.17/5/2008Rubin, Alissa J.International

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Washington Post—Inside Mugabe's violent crackdown, by Craig TimbergMany of the people interviewed, including members of Mugabe's inner circle, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of government retribution. Much of the reporting for this article was conducted by a Zimbabwean reporter for The Post whose name is being withheld for security reasons. ReaderWar-zone exemption. Let's hope the Zimbabwean reporter got it right.17/5/2008Timberg, CraigInternational

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New York Times—An old sound in Harlem draws new neighbors' ire, by Timothy Williams“Everything, after four hours—even if it’s Mozart—is pure, unadulterated noise,” said a resident of a building on the park who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal. “The community is right: The drummers have been doing this for more than 30 years. But no one told me there would be unremitting noise every Saturday for the rest of my life.”ReporterMasses of people hate the drumming, but the Times has to quote an anonymous source? Is the fear of reprisals real or imagined? If real, that's the story. If imagined, that's the story.57/6/2008Williams, TimothyMetro

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New York Times—Gap widens between morning TV competitors, by Bill Carter"[Diane Sawyer] is so angry at the company,” said the executive, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue inside ABC News. “They didn’t give her the job she deserves. They want her to stay in this job because it makes so much money. But to her it’s boring, it’s repetitive, and it’s cheesy to have to do all the things she has to in service of the company.”Source by a mileMoments later, the source ran to Diane Sawyer and told her what he'd told the New York Times, I'll betcha. Plus, who cares?57/7/2008Carter, BillArts

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Washington Post—Weather Channel Sold to NBCU, by Frank AhrensNBCU, owned by General Electric, partnered with Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group to pay about $3.5 billion for the cable channel and its associated properties from Landmark Communications, the Norfolk-based media company that launched the channel 26 years ago. The purchase price was confirmed by a source close to the deal who spoke on the condition of anonymity because terms were not announced.ReporterThis story appears to have two sources. One who supplied the price and one who confirmed it. I'd like to know more about the one who supplied it. 47/7/2008Ahrens, FrankBusiness

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Washington Post—4-vehicle crash kills 1, injures 2, by Rosalind S. HeldermanThe Camaro apparently struck one vehicle and then the corrections van, said a law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity because the incident was still being investigated.ReaderWith the "apparently" qualifier, nobody can claim the Post or its source is overselling the information.17/7/2008Helderman, Rosalind S.Metro

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Los Angeles Times—Zimbabwe youth militias accused of holding women as sex slaves, by a Times Staff WriterA base commander who spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity said that Mugabe had said the bases would continue to operate.ReaderNot only is the base command anonymous, so is the Times reporter, whose identity is blinded to prevent Mugabe's thugs from retaliating.47/7/2008Times Staff WriterInternational

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Los Angeles Times—IndyMac to exit most home lending, slash 3,800 jobs, by E. Scott Reckard[IndyMac], which before Monday had 7,200 employees, will have 3,400 after the cutbacks, down from more than 10,000 at its peak in 2006. It declined to specify the number of jobs to be lost in California.

An IndyMac manager, speaking on condition of anonymity at a nearby Ralphs store, said simply, "There's not enough food to feed the mouths."
ReporterColorful, empty quotation.57/8/2008Reckard, E. ScottBusiness

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Washington Post—U.S. seeks data exchange, by Ellen NakashimaOne official from a European state seeking visa-free status said he hopes the pacts will allow his country to obtain such status by the end of the year. "The United States is a close ally of ours," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the talks' sensitivity. "Obviously, counterterrorism and the fight against crime is a huge priority for the U.S. and my government, as well."ReporterNegative information content here. What country isn't against terrorism and crime?57/8/2008Nakashima, EllenInternational

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Los Angeles Times—Clippers, Elton Brand will soon have answers, by Jonathan AbramsThe Warriors have tendered a five-year, $90-million offer and the 76ers are gearing up to make a firm—and lucrative—offer once the moratorium is lifted, according to NBA sources who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on player movements.ReporterThird anonymously sourced article by Abrams in one week. It's only a war zone inside the paint.57/8/2008Abrams, JonathanSports

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New York Times—Washington Post signals shift with a new editor, by Richard Perez-PenaIt is not clear what role will be played by The Post’s second-ranking editor, Phillip Bennett, who has the title of managing editor and was a candidate for the top job. People who have discussed the matter with Post executives—and who insisted on anonymity to avoid upstaging those executives—said that an arrangement with multiple managing editors was under consideration.ReporterI can be persuaded to make exceptions for anonymous sourcing in almost any beat, except for when the press reports on the press. Sources can rightly say, hey, your people don't speak on the record—why should we? 57/8/2008Perez-Pena, RichardBusiness

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Wall Street Journal—Oil-Sands Firms Vie for Support, by Hyun Young Lee [No free URL.]"The industry does a poor job of communication and trying to frame the issues, so the media focuses on what it wants, [such as] birds dying," said the former executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "There could be much more collaboration between companies and with the government. But they've all got all these different agendas."ReporterThis is worse than some of the anonymously sourced sports coverage I've encountered.57/9/2008Lee, Hyun YoungBusiness

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New York Times—Qatar, playing all sides, is a non-stop mediator, by Robert F. Worth“Their relationship with us has been complex, bordering on one of animosity,” said a high-level State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity so as not to give offense, adding that Qatar’s support for Hamas had been a “very vexatious problem.”ReporterComplexity is complex and often hard to report on the record. But seriously, isn't Qatar going to be offended whether the remarks are for attribution or anonymous?57/9/2008Worth, Robert F.International

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New York Times—Split of Rooney brothers could force Steelers' sale, by Michael S. SchmidtThe message from Goodell to the Rooney family, which has owned and operated the Steelers since 1933, was that it had to divest from its gambling interests and clarify a muddied ownership structure that raised questions about succession, according to three people, including a lawyer and a financial consultant, familiar with the inner workings of the club’s ownership. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to jeopardize their access to sensitive information.ReporterI don't see any "sensitive information" in this report. If I did, I'd be more sensitive about their desire to maintain their access to it. 57/9/2008Schmidt, Michael S.Business

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Los Angeles Times—Reasons debated as Elton Brand leaves Clippers for 76ers, by Jonathan AbramsBrand had text messaged teammates that he was excited about the prospects of the team, according to NBA sources who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to talk about player movements.ReporterFourth anonymously sourced article by Abrams in a little more than a week.57/10/2008Abrams, JonathanSports

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New York Times—Militant gains in Pakistan said to draw more fighters, by Eric SchmittBut especially since the new Pakistani government sharply curtailed security operations in the tribal areas in March and began negotiating with tribal leaders to rein in the militants, the number of foreign fighters entering the tribal areas has increased “from a trickle to a steady stream,” said a Defense Department official who follows Pakistan closely, and who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.Reader and reporterThe Pentagon isn't a war zone. Why shouldn't a source put his name to "trickle to a steady stream"? Surely that isn't secret national-security data.37/10/2008Schmitt, EricInternational

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Los Angeles Times—Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF party plans new crackdown on MDC, by a Times Staff WriterThe crackdown would be aimed at pressuring the opposition to accept a government of national unity led by Mugabe, senior ruling party sources said. The sources asked to remain anonymous because of possible political or security repercussions.ReaderDeserves a war-zone exemption. Even the Times reporter is clothed in anonymity!17/10/2008Anonymous Los Angeles Times staff writerInternational

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New York Times—Peacekeepers in Sudan lose 7 in ambush, by Lydia Polgreen“It is just a free-for-all,” said a Western aid official in Sudan, speaking on the condition of anonymity because aid workers have faced retribution for talking publicly about the conditions in Darfur. “Security simply doesn’t exist.”ReaderWar-zone exemption. Murderers everywhere.17/10/2008Polgreen, LydiaInternational

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New York Times—After 3rd climber, Times alters its building's facade, by Sewell ChanA law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because The Times was still settling on a course of action, said that the company planned to remove about nine feet of the ceramic rods from the bottom of the screen that encases the building.NobodyPreposterous! A New York Times reporter has to get Times Building information anonymously from a cop? Can't Times management come clean with its own reporter about the ceramic rods?57/10/2008Chan, SewellMetro

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Washington Post—McCain predicts an even-money race, by Matthew MoskOne leading Republican finance expert interviewed yesterday called the projection "fanciful," and another said it is "dubious," given that the summer months are notoriously difficult for fundraising. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity because they said they were concerned about reprisals from the McCain campaign.Source and reporterAre reprisals from the McCain campaign greater or less than reprisals from the Mugabe regime? How exactly would the McCain campaign retaliate? Necklacing? Couldn't they get somebody on the record to back such innocuous information?57/11/2008Mosk, Matthew Politics

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Washington Post—EPA won't act on emissions this year, by Juliet Eilperin and R. Jeffrey SmithSeveral EPA officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that throughout the process, White House officials instructed the agency to change their calculations with the aim of reducing the "social cost of carbon," a regulatory term that reflects the economic burdens stemming from greenhouse gas emissions.Source and readerDon't you love it when bureaucracies battle one another? This anonymouse is worth the bother.17/11/2008Eilperin, JulietSmith, R. JeffreyNational

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Los Angeles Times—Jaguars owner says team isn't for sale and isn't moving to Los Angeles, by Sam Farmer[C. Dean] Metropoulos, the former owner of the parent company of such food brands as Duncan Hines, Armour and Mrs. Paul's, told the Daily News he has not been in negotiations with [Jacksonville Jaguar's owner Wayne] Weaver.

But two sources told The Times that Metropoulos has been in contact with Jaguars ownership and, one said, has discussed a three-year acquisition plan that calls for him buying 30% of the team in each of the first two years and 40% in the third. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they have not been authorized to speak on behalf of Metropoulos or the Jaguars.
The reader, maybe.I don't care where the Jags play, but it is entertaining whenever a newspaper catches a billionaire telling a lie. Is the resulting story worth the bother of citing three anonymice? Just barely.37/11/2008Farmer, SamSports

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New York Times—Possible fraud investigated in signing of Dominican players, by Michael S. SchmidtAgents for the F.B.I. have been to the Dominican Republic in recent months as part of the investigation, the lawyer said. The agents, who have already met with several baseball and team officials, will ultimately seek to meet with players, said the lawyer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to jeopardize his access to sensitive information.Source, reporter, and readerIt's a criminal investigation, so we should be happy with what we get, I guess. The Times credits ESPN.com for breaking the story, which is nice. What I wonder is how much cover the cloak of anonymity will ultimately give the source, "a lawyer with knowledge of the inquiry." Shouldn't insiders be able to identify him?37/12/2008Schmidt, Michael S.Sports

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Washington Post—States probe advertising deal between Google and Yahoo, by Peter WhoriskeyConnecticut, Florida and at least two other states, have issued subpoenas or other compulsory requests for documents, the sources said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to comment publicly on the matter.ReporterThe story quotes the Connecticut attorney general saying he's looking into the Google-Yahoo deal and has issued subpoenas, which is enough to make it a story. All the anonymice adds is that Florida and two other states have issued requests for documents, and a dozen states are looking into the deal. 47/12/2008Whoriskey, PeterBusiness

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Los Angeles Times—White House puts warming threats on back burner, by James Gerstenzang and Janet WilsonAn EPA official who worked on the rejected reports said Friday's announcement was unprecedented because agency staffers did not have a chance to respond to other agencies' criticism. "How do you respond to comments you've never even seen?" said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of fear of retribution.ReaderThe EPA official sounds like a genuine whistleblower. Give the Times the benefit of the doubt.27/12/2008Gerstenzang, JamesWilson, JanetNational

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Washington Post—Clashes erupt in Pakistan's NW; Adm. Mullen makes a surprise visit, by Imtiaz AliA local official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said as many as 16 paramilitary soldiers were among the dead. Local officials said five insurgents were killed, but Taliban sources said one of their fighters had died.ReaderWar-zone exemption granted.07/13/2008Ali, ImtiazInternational

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Washington Post—U.S., Iraq scale down negotiations over forces, by Karen DeYoung[Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki, who last week publicly insisted on a withdrawal timeline, wants to frame the agreement as outlining the terms for "Americans leaving Iraq" rather than the conditions under which they will stay, said the U.S. official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because U.S.-Iraqi negotiations are ongoing.Source, reporter, and readerThe news advanced seems incremental to me, with the source calling the cup half full instead of half empty. But diplomacy is often about incremental differences.17/13/2008DeYoung, KarenIraq

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New York Times—U.S. considers increasing pace of Iraq pullout, by Steven Lee MyersGeneral Petraeus is expected to be more cautious than some policy makers in the administration and at the Pentagon might like. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were discussing military planning, said he was more likely to recommend a smaller reduction, but still a withdrawal.Source, reporter, and readerThe news advanced seems incremental and couched ("likely to recommend") but worth it. Let's be lenient.17/13/2008Myers, Steven LeeIraq

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New York Times—Pressure building for draft of players from outside U.S., by Alan Schwarz“It’s the wild west down there, so I’m happy about this,” said one assistant general manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the F.B.I. probe. “The people who are being honest are glad, and the people who are doing the wrong thing are scared.”Source and reporterWhen a newspaper has got to go to an anonymous source to report that honest people are glad and dishonest people are scared of an investigation, it's clear that the end times have arrived. Talk about a self-serving pronouncement. 57/13/2008Schwarz, AlanSports

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Los Angeles Times—Role of recruiting's intermediaries gets slippery, by Ben BolchIn an interview, a prominent agent described how so-called "runners" serve as intermediaries between top prospects and agents hoping to cash in when the player turns pro. The agent, who has represented several NBA players, spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern that his comments might be construed as an admission he had engaged in wrongdoing.ReporterIf the anonymous "prominent agent" has done nothing wrong, what's he afraid of? Has he really advanced the story?57/13/2008Bolch, BenSports

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Los Angeles Times—Summer basketball is no vacation for prep stars, by Ben Bolch"A runner is not a specific thing," said an agent who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to publicly divulge his association with such individuals. "More than half the time, they're getting in play because they have claim to be there for another reason. 'I'm an AAU coach. I'm a financial advisor. I'm a marketing guy. I'm a concierge company.' They're not coming in as, 'I'm a runner.' "ReporterSurely a named source could define "runners."57/13/2008Bolch, BenSports

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New York Times—Planned Guns N' Roses deal underscores power of video games to sell songs, by Robert LevineMTV expects to announce on Monday that the sequel to its popular Rock Band game will include “Shackler’s Revenge,” a track from the Guns N’ Roses album that has been in the works for more than a decade, said people familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because the arrangement has yet to be announced.Source and reporterIf MTV is announcing this on Monday, the day this story hit, the Times put itself in a position of granting anonymity to help stoke publicity for an album that has been ODing on anonymous publicity for a decade. Call me when the CD actually comes out. 57/14/2008Levine, RobertBusiness

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New York Times—Pakistan marble helps Taliban stay in business, by Pir Zubair Shah and Jane PerlezA government body, the FATA Development Authority, failed over the last several years to mediate a dispute between the Masaud and Gurbaz subtribes over how the mining rights to the marble should be allocated, according to Pakistani government officials familiar with the quarry who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the effort’s failure.ReaderThe Pakistan border is a war zone. Readers benefit from knowing how the Taliban stays in business.07/14/2008Shah, Pir ZubairPerlez, JaneInternational

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New York Times—Young stars have seen players swindled, by Alan Schwarz and Michael S. SchmidtAnother baseball official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the F.B.I. investigation, said: “People have been skeptical of this for a long period of time. It has never been proven, but the questions have been raised about, Where does the money go? Is it to the player, the buscone or the scout?”ReporterThis anonymous quotation is very weak tea.57/14/2008Schwarz, AlanSchmidt, Michael S.Sports

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Los Angeles Times—Afghanistan attack kills 9 U.S. soldiers, by M. Karim Faiez and Laura KingBut a senior Defense Department official and a U.S. military official in Afghanistan, both speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the incident, confirmed the dead were Americans.ReaderDead soldiers in a war zone.07/14/2008Faiez, M. KarimKing, LauraAfghanistan

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Los Angeles Times—Colombia delayed telling U.S. of hostage rescue plan, by Chris Kraul and Patrick J. McDonnell"They wanted to wait long enough to make it difficult to say no," said the [U.S.] official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was forbidden to discuss the topic for attribution.ReaderThe hostage recovery has war-zone-esque elements to it. The reader benefits from learning of the tension between the Colombians and the Americans.27/14/2008Kraul, ChrisMcDonnell, Patrick J.International

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Los Angeles Times—Lack of bank note paper threatens Zimbabwe economy, by a Times Staff Writer"If you think this currency shortage is bad, wait two weeks. By then it will be a disaster," said a senior Fidelity [Printers & Refiners] staffer, who spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity because he would face dismissal and possible violence for talking to a Western journalist. The paper will run out in two weeks, he said.ReporterZimbabwe may be a near war zone, but seeing as we already know that the country has lost access to bank note paper and that it's running its currency presses full tilt, this adds little real news. Note: This piece was written by an anonymous staffer, so maybe we shouldn't be too tough on it.37/14/2008Times Staff WriterInternational