Michael Gross responds to critics of his Vanity Fair profile:

A number of commentators have noted the use of anonymous sources in my article. I explained in the article why this was necessary, but let me amplify the explanation here.

After the 2008 election, Sarah Palin and her advisers decided that it was time to “go over [the] heads” of the media, as one of her former press aides told me, and, in effect, invent a new way of doing political business. Palin began using Facebook and Twitter to send messages directly to the public. At the same time, she and her staff made themselves virtually inaccessible to reporters. Palin, moreover, is the most powerful person in a sparsely populated, geographically isolated community. She has often used intimidation. Many who have been close to Palin say they are frightened of her. They claim they have seen her ruin reputations. To speak out against such a person in a small community is risky.

This reality presents reporters with a choice: either repeat the official statements and official facts that are made in Palin’s name, or find a way to report other information under the terms that sources will permit.

Ben Smith goes a few more rounds with Gross. I'm with Michael.

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