“Senior Administration Officials”

The Washington Wire makes this very interesting point:

    The Bush administration is notorious for its “background briefings” in which reporters are barred from identifying the “senior administration official” who answers questions. But sometimes there are subtle clues as to the briefer’s identity. See if you can out this anonymous source, from an official White House press office transcript titled “INTERVIEW OF A SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL, BY THE TRAVELING PRESS, Aboard Air Force Two, En Route Muscat, Oman.”

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: “Let me just make one editorial comment here. I’ve seen some press reporting says, ‘Cheney went in to beat up on them, threaten them.’ That’s not the way I work. I don’t know who writes that, or maybe somebody gets it from some source who doesn’t know what I’m doing, or isn’t involved in it. But the idea that I’d go in and threaten someone is an invalid misreading of the way I do business.

And today Howard Kurtz writes up a piece entitled, “Cheney’s Trip Renews Debate Over Attribution in News Accounts: Critics Question His Need to Be Identified in Briefing as ‘Senior Administration Official'”