New York Times, CNN Sullied By ‘Anonymous’ CharadeBreaking News
tags: media, journalism, Department of Homeland Security, Donald Trump, whistleblower, Anonymous, Miles Taylor
The New York Times got its traffic bonanza. It touched off a national debate. It owned social media. And now it’s getting the payback that it deserves.
On Wednesday, the author of a widely read 2018 op-ed in the Times shed his anonymity. Miles Taylor, a former official at the Department of Homeland Security, admitted his authorship in a Medium post. The Times confirmed that he was the guy: “We take seriously our obligations to protect sources. Many important stories in sensitive areas like politics, national security and business could never be reported if our journalists violated that trust. In this case, however, the writer has personally waived our agreement to keep his identity confidential. We can confirm that he is the author of the Anonymous op-ed. We don’t plan to comment further.”
That last sentence is a convenient dodge. With Taylor’s admission, the newspaper’s opinion section has to answer for the disclosure it ran on his op-ed: “The Times is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure.”
The apparent goal of the piece was to reassure the freaked-out American public about Trump’s norm-less conduct: “Anonymous” and other officials were playing defense from within. “The dilemma — which [Trump] does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” Taylor wrote. “I would know. I am one of them.”
Implicit in that assurance is actual seniority. That is to say, the ability to thwart Trump from within the government rests on the power to actually do it. But now that we know who “Anonymous” is, we are learning that promise was iffy at best.
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