October 13, 2003

Poseur Alert: The Plame Game @ NPR

This one from The Ombudsman at National Public Radio

[A]stute listeners have noted that the name of Ambassador Wilson's wife has never been mentioned on NPR's air.

News Vice President Bruce Drake had this explanation for a reporter:
On issues like these, where there are questions of privacy or other issues that make you think twice about divulging someone's name, I prefer to err on the side of being conservative. In this case, there was no journalistically compelling reason to name her and keep naming her in our news reports, given that she was already put in a difficult position. She is a bystander rather than a player in this story and I don't think that our listeners lost anything in terms of the important elements by not knowing her name.

While I understand and would normally agree with this logic on most stories where privacy is an issue, the point of not sharing a name that has been in every other medium seems lost. I think it ill-served the listeners in this case. The unintended consequence of leaving her name out caused some listeners to wonder if there is some nefarious political reason behind this. NPR appeared (to me) to be unnecessarily high-minded in keeping the name out of its reports.

Astute listeners will have spotted more than one instance where the items on NPR seem to come from minds that are high.

Posted by Vanderleun at October 13, 2003 11:55 AM
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