In Our Latest Edition Of ‘Don’t Do What They Did’: A Deal We Wouldn’t Want To Make

It’s clearly stated in the Ethics Handbook that “we don’t allow sources to dictate how a topic will be covered.”

That’s a pretty basic rule.

We’re bringing it up now because of reports about 2009 email exchanges between then-Atlantic contributing editor Marc Ambinder and Philippe Reines, spokesman for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

- “This Is How Hillary Clinton Gets the Coverage She Wants” (Gawker)

- “Corrupt journalism doesn’t pay. Nor does abetting it.”(The Washington Post)

According to those reports, Ambinder got a scoop about a Clinton speech by agreeing to Reines’ “conditions.” One: that the address be described as “muscular.” Two: That he report that Clinton’s high-profile deputies would be there to show their support for the secretary.

Ambinder tells Gawker that the transaction “made me uncomfortable then, and it makes me uncomfortable today.”

“Unacceptable” is the word that comes to our mind.

Other “don’t do what they did” posts:

Unlike A ‘Rolling Stone,’ We Don’t Change Names Or Share Stories With Sources

Don’t Trust, Do Verify: The Vaping Hoax

Don’t Trust Your Mother Or The Internet

Free Laptops, Big Shrimp And #Ethicsschmetics

Plagiarism: The Offense That Keeps On Repeating

Don’t Always Believe What You Remember

(“Memmos;” Feb. 10, 2016)

February 10, 2016

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