Why the Washington Post didn't run Apple PR's statement on CSAM

From Oliver Darcy's "WaPo refuses statement attributed to unnamed Apple spox" mailed Friday night to CNN's Reliable Sources subscribers:

WaPo's Reed Albergotti made a decision seen rarely in journalism while reporting on Apple's [child safety] delay: declining to accept a statement attributable only to an unnamed spokesperson. "Apple spokesman Fred Sainz said he would not provide a statement on Friday’s announcement because The Washington Post would not agree to use it without naming the spokesperson," Albergotti wrote in his piece.

The decision triggered significant chatter — and praise — among journalists. "I’m always amazed and appalled at these supposed spokespeople who refuse to be named," WaPo's Margaret Sullivan tweeted. "Including those for media companies. That’s their job!" CNN's Alexander Marquardt added, "If only journalists and media orgs could band together and universally enforce this..."

My take: Apple's high-handed attitude toward the press goes back to Steve Jobs. If Albergotti thinks Fred Sainz is hard to work with, he should have tried getting an attribution out of Katie Cotton (second from right, above).


  1. Bart Yee said:
    As if WashPo and other media sources don’t use “unnamed sources who spoke off the record because they were not authorized to speak on the matter”. Isn’t it enough that the release came from Apple?

    September 4, 2021
  2. David Emery said:
    I’m no fan of “non-attribution”, but this strikes me as “we in the media get to decide.” That’s yet another nail in the “media thinks they know best what’s good for us” coffin.

    September 4, 2021
  3. Rodney Avilla said:
    “ Why the Washington Post didn’t”

    Everyone knows that news agencies use “unnamed sources” whenever they want to print an opinion article but put it in the news section. Look forward to the day when they will just be honest with us.

    September 4, 2021

Leave a Reply