I took Mark Fainaru-Wada to task in this post, especially chastising him for his “unnamed sources”. He responds to my point of view in this email:
…. First off, we do not take lightly the use of anonymous sources, particularly in a story such as this. This story largely was based upon what we KNEW federal investigators had been told about Bonds and the other athletes; the only reference to an anonymous source in this story was essentially to corroborate what we were reporting the investigators were told. Rest assured, even if my colleague and I were cavalier enough to just throw stuff out there, our editors and lawyers would never let such serious charges into the paper unless they believed in the accuracy of the story. This was an authoritative report and, no, it was not printed to sell newspapers — that’s not my job, though surely it is somebody else’s here at The Chronicle — but rather because we viewed this as an important part of the story to tell.
In large part, the email he’s referring to echoed my post, I feel that the use of such sources in such a big story, was a bit suspect. Nonetheless, Mr. Fainaru-Wada took the time to respond, and his response needs to be respected.