First is not always best.
That's my quick critique of the NPR story that made such a splash Friday. You know, the one that reported evangelical leaders are very concerned about swirling allegations "about the president and a payout to a porn star to cover up a sexual encounter."
Those leaders, NPR said, "are organizing a sit-down with President Trump in June."
Alrighty, but where's the story coming from?
The answer would be "four sources with knowledge of the planned meeting." In other words, we have what has become all too frustratingly common in the Trump era: a narrative based on anonymous voices.
Bottom line: Such sources know what they're talking about. Or they don't. You can trust them. Or you can't. And therein lies the problem.
I'll admit my bias: I wish major news organizations would stop using anonymous sources (who have an agenda or wouldn't be talking). Make people go on the record (so readers will have more information on which to judge a source's agenda). Or simply don't quote them. It's that simple.
Anonymous sources do nothing to improve the credibility of journalism in an age in which the president of the United States scores cheap political points by criticizing what he calls the #FakeNews media.
After quoting the anonymous sources, NPR includes a named source — yah! — who pooh-poohs much of the earlier storyline: