The Atlantic has a sort of yakkity-yakkity thing up online about how Professional Journalists handle material being on or off the record . The peg is that Rolling Stone story from—when was it, back in 2005?—that got that general who was running our success in Afghanistan dismissed for being insubordinate and for having drunk and mouthy aides. Professional Journalists are still bothered by these events because the irresponsible and non-staff-employed Rolling Stone reporter went and wrote up quotations and anecdotes that he witnessed happening, rather than negotiating with his sources to produce a polite and abridged and untrue version of things.
Your hosts for this are Chuck Todd and Albert Oetgen:
Chuck Todd is chief White House correspondent and political director for NBC News. Albert Oetgen is managing editor for NBC News’ Washington bureau.
To get analysis of where the Rolling Stone project went wrong, they turn to sports publicity agent Ari Fleischer, better known for his work as publicity agent for the Bush Administration:
“They forgot he was a reporter,” Fleisher said. “You don’t know how deeply it offends me as a public relations professional to allow a reporter that kind of access. It wasn’t reporting. That was eavesdropping.”
Ari Fleischer is offended. As a professional, Ari Fleischer is offended. Professional Journalists do not eavesdrop. Professional Journalists print what they are
told to print