How organizations inadvertently confirm facts when they try not to
On the Media in its story “Fact? Check!” forwarded the revelation (uncovered by the PBS program Frontline in the first part of their “News War” series) that the fact that the United States Justice Department launches a leak investigation implicitly confirms the leak! That’s because one of the prerequisites for a leak investigation is that the leaked information actually be true.
Lowell Bergman: The information has to be accurate?
Dave Szady: Yes.
Lowell Bergman: So when the government announces a leak investigation and it comes to your office, it’s confirming that the report in the newspaper, for example, or on television, was true.
Dave Szady: Yes. Indirectly, yes.