From: Mark Kleiman
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Deborah Howell)
Subject: Unmasking dishonest anonymous sources
Dear Deborah Howell:
Now that the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General has found that Post reporter Dan Eggen was used by a “law enforcement official,” to whom he gave the privilege of anonymity, to convey to your readers a flat-out lie, will you urge Mr. Eggen to tell us just who the liar was?
It’s clear that someone was trying to help shift blame from the enablers of Mark Foley to the public-interest group that revealed his misconduct. I think we deserve to know who that was. And unless Post reporters value being lied to and passing those lies along, I see no reason why the pledge of confidentiality should be honored, now that we know how it was abused.
In addition, since the OIG investigators failed to identify the person who told Mr. Eggen that CREW had sat on the emails for three months, there is a strong likelihood that the source lied, not only to your reporter, but to the investigators, which would constitute a felony.
So we have both an abuse of the press and, probably, a crime, and only Mr. Eggen is in a position to identify the person responsible for both. Don’t you think he ought to do so?
Hat tip: Justin Rood of TPM Muckraker
Update Eggen’s own story on the OIG report omits the key detail: that the “anonymous law enforcement source’s” explosive claim that CREW had sat on the emails from April to July was a fabrication.