Friday, September 7, 2018

Does Anyone Remember “Anonymous?”

     Today, concerning the “anonymous” author of the New York Times’s recent op-ed by a self-described “senior administration official,” Byron York writes:

     Anonymity is good marketing. What if the author had simply identified himself? Not only would everyone be able to evaluate his position, they would also look into his background and try to draw connections between his past and his role as self-appointed, in-house Trump resister. Instead, by remaining anonymous, the author — and the Times — have not only avoided scrutiny but have added an irresistible element of mystery and suspense to the story. That means more attention.

     But York concludes his piece with the following:

     We'll know more soon enough. The Times wrote that it granted the author anonymity because his "job would be jeopardized" by disclosure of his name. It seems hard to believe the author truly thinks he can remain anonymous — and keep his job — in the white-hot public attention his article will attract. One way or the other, his identity will likely come out, probably sooner rather than later. And then the story could become even more interesting.

     Indeed. Joe Klein couldn’t keep his identity secret for as much as half a year, and publishers have a much stronger incentive for securing an author’s secrets. The author of the Times piece, if he’s what he claimed to be, will be exposed in short order. When that occurs, we’re likely to get quite a bit of information that was strictly sub rosa within the author’s circle of collaborators.

     Of course, the possibility exists that the piece was a fabrication by someone sufficiently skilled to persuade the Times of his elevated stature, despite being no more than an under-deputy assistant junior attendance trainee in the Department of Thinking Good Thoughts. In that case, we may have a good laugh at the Times’s expense...and President Donald Trump, who continues to make good on his campaign promises and to inspire millions to whom politics had become nothing more than a carnival of impotence married to corruption, will have the biggest laugh of all.

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