Harry Reid, rumor monger, with an assist from the Washington Post

The desperation to defeat Mitt Romney has induced Democrats to demean themselves with tactics no respectable adult would embrace. In order to keep alive unsubstantiated allegations about Mitt Romney's taxes, Harry Reid, the Huffington Post, and the Washington Post are spreading unsourced rumors that Mitt paid no taxes for 10 years.

Violating basic principles of journalistic integrity, the WaPo's Ed O'Keefe repeated rumors being spread by Harry Reid via the Huffington Post:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed Tuesday in an interview that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney refuses to release additional tax returns because he didn't pay taxes for 10 years.

The interview, published Tuesday by The Huffington Post, includes several swipes by the Senate leader at the GOP candidate.

"His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son," Reid said in reference to George Romney's decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in 1968.

Reid suggested that Romney's decision to withhold tax information would bar him from ever earning Senate confirmation to a Cabinet post. Then, Reid recalled a phone call his office received about a month ago from "a person who had invested with Bain Capital," according to The Huffington Post.

Reid said the person told him: "Harry, he didn't pay any taxes for 10 years."

This is despicable. There is no reason whatsoever to give credence to an unidentified source who allegedly spoke to Reid over the telephone. And to expect that an "investor" with Bain Capital would have any knowledge of Mitt Romney's personal tax returns makes no sense. I have never seen the personal tax returns of the CEOs of any firms in which I have investments.

Shame on Harry Reid for questioning the father-son relationship; in these terms. He has shown himself an unprincipled man.

The Washington Post has jettisoned any semblance of journalistic integrity it once had. As Datechguy wrote: "Can we stop calling the Washington Post a 'newspaper' now?" What do the editors like David Maraniss have to say about printing unsubstantiated rumors from an unnamed source who didn't even speak to one of their reporters?

Even the Daily Kos (!) find this questionable:

That's a pretty extraordinary allegation for someone to make, and given that there's no reason to believe Bain investors have any greater access to Mitt Romney's tax returns than anybody else, this probably falls into the realm of conjecture.

When your standards are lower than Kos, you have hit bottom.

Every journalist who works for the WaPo should be questioned about this disgrace, and asked if they believe their newspaper has any standards left, whenever they attempt to interview  a Republican.

It is time for the grown-ups to make it clear that the Democrats are playing dirty politics, and their media allies are assisting them