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Anonymous Sourcing: Haberman Style

The more creative anonymous sourcing gets the harder it is to guess who may be doing the talking. And in Washington, it’s rampant as many sensitive spokespeople hardly ever want to go on the record about anything no matter how important or absurdly innocuous the information may be.

In Politico this morning is a whopper of an insider story by Maggie Haberman published at 4:59 a.m. on Huma Abedin, the victim-scorned wife of New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner. The larger point of the story is that Huma’s friends, who once had her “support,” now have their “concern.” In short: What the hell is she still doing with him? They don’t come out that boldly, but just enough to get their point across. While her friends are “concerned,” the media, writes Haberman, has gone from “sympathetic” to “savage.” The piece uses mostly anonymous sourcing outside of Clinton Camp intimate and CNN Contributor Paul Begala. Here is the impressive variety of anonymous descriptors she used:

1. “her friends.”

2. “their worry”

3. Our favorite: “The feelings about Weiner in Clintonland are unequivocal, according to one someone close to the couple: ‘Everyone’s done with him.’”

4. “Multiple sources familiar with the Clintons’ thinking”

5. “Everyone loves her to death,” said a Clinton ally who’s worked with her.

6. “sources said”

7. “Clinton insiders and allies insist they don’t believe Abedin has become a liability for the former Secretary of State…”

8. “Within Clinton-world…”

9. “’Two years ago [it was] caring about Huma, and now it’s concern for Huma,’ said a second Clinton ally, who, like almost everyone interviewed, asked not to be identified.”

10. “said one senior Democrat, who asked for anonymity”

 11. “One Clinton insider…”

12. “One source”

13. “Another source”

14. “Several other people with ties to the Clintons say…”

15. “Clinton aides say…”

16. “Several Clinton allies pointed out…”

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