American History

BUCKING THE BOSS

As the summer silly season was ending, The New York Times published an op-ed portentously signed Anonymous.

President Donald Trump was “facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader,” Mr./Ms. Anonymous declared. “Many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations. [Dramatic paragraph break.] I would know. I am one of them.”

For a week the article was the talk of the thumb-sucking class. In shielding the author’s identity, had the embraced best journalistic practices? (The paper acknowledged that doing so was a “rare step.”) Should a worried insider making incendiary charges not instead quit, and—a guiding light, usually Polaris, the North Star—which Pence uncorks from time to time. However, most pundits looked for someone on the inner circle’s outer rim: a third-level person in a cabinet department, or a National Security Council aide.

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