Thursday, September 16, 2004

Confidentially speaking

Why does CBS stubbornly refuse to admit that the forgeries are forgeries? Perhaps it is not due to misplaced pride, or because CBS is mired in some weird corporate psychological denial.

CBS must know that its posture is nonsensical and that it is badly tarnishing its reputation; however, to admit to the forgeries would strip their source of any right to confidentiality. The accepted rule within the media is that confidentiality is only as good as the accuracy of the information. In other words, if you burn your media outlet, they can and will burn you.

It appears that CBS desperately wants not to identify its source, and its only plausible justification not to do so is that it is bound by that confidentiality pledge. So CBS must maintain the pretense that the authenticity (or lack of authenticity) of the documents is undetermined, and therefore it must honor its commitment and shield its source.