Hypocrisy Watch: White House Spokesman Josh Earnest Faces a 'Minor Media Revolt' After Dissing Anonymous Sources

Allahpundit at Hot Air enjoyed mocking the White House spokesman for disdaining the media's use of anonymous sources....as if the White House never delivers information anonymously. What a rookie mistake. It doesn't make him look....earnest.

The Business Insider summarized: "The White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, faced a minor media revolt at his daily press briefing Monday after he criticized a Washington Post story for its reliance on anonymous sources." They accused him of being a hypocrite, even within the day's news cycle (see video):

"You criticize anonymous sources but we have anonymous sources from you every day," one reporter said. "How can you criticize that when that's what you basically give us every day, except for the briefing?"

Earnest responded sarcastically.

"Except for the briefing? Except for the fact that I've been standing here for over an hour answering all of your questions?" he said.

Earnest said the use of anonymous sources in the Washington Post story on Sunday -- which revealed that the White House has known about the impending border crisis for months --  was fine. (The networks yawned, since it might make Team Obama look bad.)


"I'm not suggesting that they shouldn't run their story," Earnest said. "They're entirely entitled to doing that. What I think is important is that greater weight should be granted to those who are willing to put a face and a name with specific claims. Cecilia Muñoz, who's the president's top immigration adviser, is in that story conveying exactly the White House position."

Two reporters pointed out the White House was hosting its own anonymous call Monday afternoon on a job-training report.

Under both parties, the White House has dribbled out a lot of news anonymously. It could be argued that reporters like anonymously sourced stories better, since it makes them look well-connected and capable of scoring exclusives.

Allahpundit also enjoyed former AP White House reporter Ron Fournier mocking Earnest, with tweets such as "“This White House HATES anonymous sources so much they fired several at [Maryland] Gov O'Malley's nether regions” over the border crisis and “This White House hates anonymous sources so much that they made dozens speak for days about the the president's raid against OBL [Osama bin Laden].”

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis