Going All 'SAO' On The Press: You might have thought there was some kind of official standard set by reporters in referring to an anonymous source as a "senior administration official." You'd be wrong. As The Politico's Mike Allen writes in his explainer on the origins, uses and abuses of the term, "the answer to how someone gets to be a senior official is: It depends." And from whence did this overused term come? Allen taps CBS News' Bob Schieffer, who said it evolved from "senior American official," a term used to describe those close to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the early 1970s:
"'Senior American official' would say things that Henry Kissinger couldn't be quoted on, but he laid out what was happening and what the other side was going to have to do and other things that would have been awkward if Kissinger had been quoted as saying them. It sort of ballooned, and then you'd get back to Washington and you'd wind up with 100 people in a room and you'd have some official come in and brief as a 'senior administration official.' It's been abused for a long, long time."
Cheers To Miller Time: Former New York Times reporter Judy Miller began her testimony in the Scooter Libby trial yesterday and everybody is a twitter (including many, many bloggers.) The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz even had a socially awkward run-in with Miller at the court house, which he details here. Anyhoo, the bottom line is that for now, Libby and Miller's stories don't jibe. Stay tuned.