"Despite how some like to think of themselves, reporters are not passive conduits of information. They choose their sources. They choose the quotes. They decide when a source has been full of shit so many times that, if they care, they stop going to them for information.
More than that, from the perspective of the reader when the journalist passes on the quote without question or any rebuttal or refutation, the journalist is implicitly putting his/her stamp of authentication on it."
Sounded pretty obvious after you read it, eh? That right there, folks, is why Atrios is one of the most highly trafficked sites on the internets.