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Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Variations On An Anonymous Theme
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detailed how WorldNetDaily makes copious use of anonymous sources to smear President Obama. There's another way WND hurls smears without accountability: anonymous commenters.

In an Aug. 5 article dedicated to spreading the falsehood that a White House email address set up to collect reports of misinformation being spread about President Obama's health-care reform plan is a "snitch" program that collects data on people, Bob Unruh includes the following:

Bloggers and readers were livid.

Wrote one observer to WND, "In my life I never thought I’d see this happen in America. What are they going to do with the information they get?? Pure terrorism."

Added another, "Why wait for a snitch to turn your name in, when you do it yourself and save them the trouble. It only makes sense."

A third reader simply sent a link to an online history resource that cited the use of informants during the prelude to World War II.

Unruh offers no reason why these particular responses were chosen, or why they were granted anonymity. After all -- as WND editor Joseph Farah should very well know -- newspapers do not publish anonymous letters to the editor.

WND does not explain why anonymous comments, a lower grade of commentary because no one is accountable for it, should be given a privileged place in a bylined "news" story. Unless, of course, WND doesn't care about news -- or journalistic ethics -- at all.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT

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