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Anonymous op-ed in New York Times opens wormy can

Stuff hit the proverbial fan after The New York Times published an op-ed by an anonymous White House insider on the dangers posed by President Donald Trump’s leadership. Trump demanded the Times reveal the identity of “anonymous,” and the Times news staff that operates independently of the editorial staff found themselves in the unenviable position of either supporting the editorial staff in protecting “anonymous” or doing their job of finding and revealing the op-ed author’s name. (Politico, September 5, 2018, by Michael Calderone and Jason Schwartz)

Under criticism in part for kindling more paranoia and disfunction in Trump world, James Bennet, the Time’s editorial page editor, offered a justification for running the op-ed. “The question for us was, does making this unusual grant [of anonymity], is it merited by the significance of the piece? We feel that it was,” said Bennet. “Our job isn’t to publish op-eds to further one political argument or another. Our job is to publish op-eds that further the public’s understanding of what the hell is going on, and I think this piece makes a significant contribution.”  (Vanity Fair, September , 2018, by Joe Pompeo)

Some feel that “anonymous” should come forward voluntarily, to resign and testify before Congress about the president’s poor leadership and in that way more adequately serve the country’s interests. (The Poynter Institute, September 5, 2018, by David Beard)

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