Across The Media Universe: The Origins Of 'SAO' Edition

(AP (file))
The Internet: So Hot Right Now: In case you haven't heard, new media is being taken very seriously in campaign 2008. AdWeek speaks to some campaign media folk who spell out just how seriously: "This part of the campaign is no longer going to be the ugly stepsister," said John McCain's media director. But that doesn't mean old media is entirely getting the shaft. One former Hillary Clinton Senate campaign staffer said television is still very much in the game: "It is still a TV business. TV still puts the politician in front of people, and their personality and image are more controllable. That is the advantage over all other media."

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.
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