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Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Leaks of DC

For John, BLUF.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Blogger Charlie Martin, 5 February 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

I'd guess that the most common kind of news article out of Washington would be an article reporting something breathless that was leaked to the reporter by an anonymous source. This is usually gussied up with frills and flounces, like "a source close to the Administration" or "a source with knowledge of the situation".

I'm not one to say that all leaks should be eliminated, even if they could be eliminated. Which they can't. Leaks can serve a good purpose — there are a lot of times a leak makes public some real issue. But we always should keep in mind the First Law of Leaks:

Every leak is being leaked to promote the agenda of the leaker, and is being shaped to the leaker's advantage.
Then four corollaries:
So once you see something that's been leaked, you should ask yourself four questions:
  1. How is it being reported?
  2. Whose agenda does the leak serve?
  3. How surprising is it?
  4. So?
Leaking is a natural part of government.  It is gossip at a national scale.  Sometimes it is a way for the Government to test the waters for new initiatives.  It has its purposes.  But, it is also a way for the entrenched bureaucracy to resist some new broom.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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