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Should the source of the Trump-CNN video be unnamed on certain conditions?




The stage is set for the Republican presidential debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 15, 2015.
The stage is set for the Republican presidential debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 15, 2015.
L.E. BASKOW/AFP/Getty Images

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The viral video of President Trump wrestling a doctored “CNN” opponent is at the center of another story – this time with CNN in the hot seat.

The news organization released a story earlier this week on the anonymous Reddit user who created the video, but decided not to give out his name on a few conditions. As reported by the New York Times, CNN identified the video creator as a “private citizen” and would not reveal his identity, but only if certain things about his behavior did not change.

The anonymous source of the video had reportedly issued a statement of apology, and displayed remorse, taking down racist, anti-Semitic and other offensive posts. The CNN story went on with the following condition, “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

So what are the implications of unnamed sources? Larry speaks to two media ethicists on whether this oversteps the bounds of journalistic ethics.

Guests:

Jane Kirtley, professor of media ethics and law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota

Jeffrey McCall, professor of communication at DePauw University in Indiana and former  journalist; he is the author of “Viewer Discretion Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences” (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007); he tweets @Prof_McCall



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