Friday, March 07, 2008


So, Samantha Power said something very stupid to a reporter, the reporter published it, and now Power has resigned from the Obama campaign. Even though I'm rooting for Obama, I have to take issue with the people who are clutching their pearls at the thought that a journalist would print a quote after a source tried to retroactively go off the record.

I want to be clear on one thing -- in that reporter's place, I don't think I would have run the quote. If for no other reason than because it would make me a douchebag. But the reporter was within his rights to do so, douchebaggery and all. More importantly, and this is something I wish more American reporters would take seriously, it is not the reporter's job to make her source's life easy. We've spent years bellyaching about how the press is too cozy with official sources. Well, guess what, Power is an official source. The Scotsman has no good reason to play with kid gloves here. (And spare me the line about how she's just an academic, and shouldn't be held to the campaign's standard.)

Now, should she have had to resign for this? Only by the crazy standards of the Democratic Primary. I still hope Obama wins the nomination, the election, and that Power can be given an important role in the Obama Presidency. But count me among the people who think this episode shows the Obama camp has been rattled by Ohio more than we thought.

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