Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Anonymous News

In the era we seem to be inhabiting of so many cowardly, complaisant, or just plain callow journalists, we've grown accustomed to seeing reporters lean heavily on anonymous sources. Often, we hear of it in connection with controversial issues like the Valerie Plame affair... or questionable criticisms of the UN's oil-for-food program ... or the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, and other matters of state.

But what do you call it when a newspaper story alludes to anonymous people making unspecified "complaints" causing a vaguely mentioned "controversy" about Katrina evacuees?

Mobile Register reporter David Ferrara today writes, in an article headlined "Amid Controversy, A Shelter Opens In Daphne Civic Center:
On Thursday, the Red Cross decided to close its shelter in the Nicholson Center in Daphne, which was housing evacuees from Jefferson Parish in Louisiana. The decision angered several citizens, some of whom blamed residents who had complained about putting evacuees in an affluent area.
If we understand the above paragraph rightly, an undisclosed number of Anonymous Katrina Evacuees from Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, were being housed by the Red Cross in the Nicholson Center in Daphne, Alabama. Then, 'Anonymous Residents' complained that Anonymous Evacuees were too close to an Anonymous "Affluent Area."

So, the Red Cross caved in, closed the Nicholson Center, and moved Anonymous Evacuees away from Anonymous Affluent Area at the insistance of Anonymous Residents. But, wait! There's more...

"Anonymous Citizens" complained.

To whom? Sorry. That's confidential.

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