The best sources.
In the months leading up to our invasion of Iraq last year, why did
so few journalists avoid being conned by the Bush administratio's
case for those fictitious weapons of mass destruction? Answering that
question in a recent article in The New York Review of Books; Michael
Massing quotes Knight-Ridder's John Walcott, one of the handful who
were not gulled, as saying something that delighted me because it has
been lesson number one at The Washington Monthly school of journalism
for 35 years: "One question worth asking is whether we in
journalism have become too reliant on high-level officials instead of
cultivating less glamorous people in the bowels of the bureaucracy. So
if you relied exclusively on traditional news sources --assistant
secretaries and above--you would not have heard things we heard."