25 Apr 2006 Washington Post/Dana Priest Story: An Appeal for Disclosure — and Consistency
I have difficulty respecting the choice of news organizations to run stories that are based on mysteries when the news organization knows the answer but choses not to inform the reader — and glosses over their unwillingness to disclose.
In this Post story, for instance, the Post knows full well who Dana Priest’s source(s) were.
I believe this article should include some kind of disclaimer paragraph early in the piece which states forthrightly that the publisher of the article knows the identity of the leaker(s) but has chosen not to disclose this information to readers. Ideally, the paragraph also should explain why.
It may well be that the reason the source wants anonymity is because what he or she did violates federal law (though other motives are possible), and the Post is respecting this.
I am aware of one or two cases in which the Post appeared to be very much opposed to suspected violations of federal law, but it may be that their views on lawbreaking are flexible.