Two years after the New York Times published an op-ed from what they described as an anonymous, principled conservative “senior administration official,” it turned out to have been written by a low-level bureaucrat who later worked for tech giant Google and gave money to far-left Democrats.
Miles Taylor revealed he was the author of the highly hyped op-ed headlined “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” He claimed to secretly work to thwart Trump’s policy goals as the elected president of the United States.
While constitutional scholars worried about implications of such unaccountable thwarting of the will of the people, most media focused instead on identifying who “Anonymous” was. The New York Times assured readers that when it said “senior administration official,” it meant someone “in the upper echelon of an administration.”
People took seriously the New York Times’ claim that the anonymous writer was in the upper echelon of an administration. In “13 people who might be the author of The New York Times op-ed,” CNN followed the New York Times’ lead by offering the names of actual senior administration officials, such as Don McGahn, Dan Coats, Kellyanne Conway, Kirstjen Nielsen, John Kelly, Jeff Sessions, James Mattis, Nikki Haley, Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump. Chris Cillizza also suggested it might be Fiona Hill or Melania Trump…
In fact, they were willing to do it for a very low-level political appointee. Taylor has been billed as “chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security,” but he didn’t have even that position that nobody knew existed when he wrote the op-ed and was described as a senior administration official.