Shooting The Messenger: Coffman Slams New York Times For Publishing Anonymous Anti-Trump Opinion

(In other words, we’re a few days away from Coffman praising anonymity — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)

Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman bashed the New York Times this morning for publishing an opinion piece, written by an anonymous “senior” Trump official who was aiming to spotlight the dangers posed by the president.

The Times should “probably tighten up on these anonymous sources,” explained Coffman to KOA 850-AM Morning News host April Zesbaugh, adding that it was “very disappointing” because “anybody in the White House or outside the White House could have written that.”

Coffman turned his attack on Times, instead of addressing the content of the op-ed, which included this:

“The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making…”

From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions.”

The New York Times prefaced the opinion piece by writing that the senior Trump official who wrote it is “known to us” and his or her “job would be jeopardized by its disclosure.”

Professional journalists carefully use anonymous sourcing to inform the public of information that would otherwise be impossible to report–about topics ranging from the Vietnam War (Pentagon Papers) and presidential law-breaking (Watergate) to child abuse in the Catholic Church (See Spotlight.) to the exposure of government waste via whistle blowers, and much more.

Journalists will advise readers to beware of anonymous sourcing from news outlets that aren’t trustworthy. The New York Times, though not perfect, is among the most trusted news outlets in the world.

An email asking Coffman, a Republican, what he thinks of the substance of the Times opinion piece, for example, its plea for Americans to cross party lines and stand up to Trump, was not returned.

Not only did Coffman not answer Zesbaugh’s question about whom he thinks wrote the piece but he chose to provide a non-answer that didn’t address the shocking information about Trump in the op-ed.

Politicians, like Trump himself in his rantings against the news media, are known known to attack the press when confronted with stories they disagree with.

Coffman’s shoot-the-messenger attack on the Times reflects his decision last year to call for an investigation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, after FBI surveillance led to the resignation of Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Here’s a transcript of Coffman’s statement this morning:

ZESBAUGH:  You’re in the beltway – how much buzz is there today about who in the White House wrote that OpEd in the New York Times?

COFFMAN: Oh, I don’t know  [laughs].  You know, I  think they should probably tighten up on these anonymous sources. I mean, the fact is, anybody in the White House or outside the White House could have written that. So,  [It’s] very disappointing.

Listen here:

6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. unnamed says:

    Right.  Because a National Paper of Record that many people across the country will use as a news source won't vet their source.  Way to "Stand up to Trump" Mike.

  2. davebarnes says:

    Melanie is not happy and demonstrates her ignorance.

    "Freedom of speech is an important pillar of our nation's founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy. The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible."

    I missed the part in the First Amendment about fair…

  3. Davie says:

    Coffman is right about one thing, it could have been written by anyone inside or outside the White House.  Mainly because the experiences and opinions expressed in both the Op-Ed and Woodward's book are confirmed to be widely held.

    That's the problem Trump faces trying to expose the writer — most of his staff and those close to the White House would likely fail a lie detector test (sort of like Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”).

    My money is on a highly placed zealot staffer for Pence (Pence not being bright nor brave enough to do the deed himself).  What better way to fulfill God's Destiny than to lay the groundwork for your champion to assume the Presidency once the flawed current occupant is humiliated out of office?  Et Tu Brute!

    • DENependent says:

      If 25th Amendment is actually invoked by the VP against Trump, would it work? Would a majority of cabinet officials go along with it? Next up, would and should Democrats go with it presuming that at least half of Republicans in the House are going for it? This has to be bipartisan because it takes 2/3 of both houses to do this and there is no sense in Democrats going out on the limb for the VP unless the Republicans are willing to head out first.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        I suspect Pence wouldn't act unless there were more obvious problems, things beyond what everyone has already seen.

        If the *resident starts carrying around steel balls in his hand and talking of strawberries, if he can't walk and won't allow anyone to see him in a wheel chair, if he doesn't know what day it is for several in a row, or is confused by what to do when he's on the golf course and someone hands him a club — then yeah, I think Pence might invoke and have the discussion with the principle executives of the Cabinet departments.

        If Pence and Cabinet members invoke and Trump protests, asking for a vote in both Houses of Congress, I'd hope each member would carefully consider what evidence is offered of incapacity and vote their conscience, NOT subject to partisan positioning.

      • Davie says:

        I agree with JiD  — if Trump doesn't resign due to the humiliation (can't be shamed, but his fragile ego could cause a mental break ), then no, I don't think the 25th amendment is really in play unless he tries to start a nuclear war.  Otherwise, he'll have to be forced out by Republicans if/when there is more evidence of impeachable offenses and/or good ol' corruption and graft is found.

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