WorldNetDaily's love of anonymous sources -- despite WND editor Joseph Farah's dismissal of anonymous claims as "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better" -- reaches a new level in a Jan. 3 article by Bob Unruh
In the article, Unruh touts the claims of an anonymous man "dentifying himself as a brain surgeon" who called into Mark Levin's radio show and declared that "secret plans being developed by the federal government under the Obamacare law will provide only 'comfort care' for some ailments." The man suggested that he had learned this from "a conference in Washington of an organization of neurosurgeons in which information from the government was presented."
Unruh then cites a statement by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, which deny that any such presentation took place and stated that "the caller who identified himself as a brain surgeon is not actually a neurosurgeon."
So, we have an anonymous source whose identity can't be verified making a completely unverified claim, and a respected group of surgeons who are on record discrediting the unverified claim. Guess who Unruh and Levin choose to believe?
Levin, however, told WND the denials are not convincing.
“The gentleman used a fake name on the air, so when the associations say they looked into it and could not find that he was at the conference, that is a straw man,” he said.
“My call screener was very comfortable that he was what he said he was, and I have no basis to disparage anything he said. He knew of the conference, he knew who was holding the conference, he knew of the various meetings at the conference, and he knew the subject-matter thoroughly.”
He continued, “It seems to me the focus by the deniers should be on uncovering what HHS is up to. Have they dug into it, have they filed FOIA requests, have they interviewed numerous attendees, etc.?”
Again, neither Levin nor Unruh provide any evidence to prove their anonymous source correct -- but they trust him anyway because he sounded like he knew what he was talking about.
This is WND's standard of journalism. Sad, isn't it?