EppsNet Archive: Credibility

Anderson Cooper Has Not Been Cleared of Russian Collusion

Anderson Cooper is saying that CNN has never made any claims against President Trump . . . I’d put my research team to work on that if I had a research team, but since I don’t, I’ll just point out that 99 percent of CNN’s panel guests for the past two years made claims against President Trump, which I don’t think was accidental. There was a period of several months, for example, where Michael Avenatti was on CNN probably more often than Cooper himself, for no reason other than to make claims against President Trump.  (Whatever happened to Avenatti, by the way? CNN seems to have lost interest in him.) There’s a technical distinction between making claims against someone and providing two years of airtime to other people making claims, but it’s not a credible distinction. Cooper also likes to say that President Trump was not cleared of Russian collusion,… Read more →

Sources Say . . .

We can never allow our sources to make allegations, contentious statements or vituperative attacks behind a cloak of anonymity. It weakens our credibility and gives the sources an opportunity to benefit at our expense. It is fundamentally unfair to the other party and thus biased. . . . If a source wants to make a vituperative attack on an individual, organisation, company or country he or she must speak on the record. — Reuters Handbook of Journalism Read more →

Building Credibility

Many people worry that not knowing something is a sign of weakness, and that if a leader seems not to have all the answers they will lose the confidence of their team. Such people try to pretend they have the answer in every situation, making things up if necessary and never admitting mistakes. However, this approach ultimately backfires. Sooner or later people learn the truth and figure out that the person never admits when they don’t know. When this happens the person loses all credibility: no-one can tell whether the person is speaking from authority or making something up, so it isn’t safe to trust anything they say. On the other hand, if you admit that you don’t know the answer, or that you made a mistake, you build credibility. People are more likely to trust you when you say that you do have the answer, because they have seen… Read more →