In the press, how many 'experts' and anonymous sources are imaginary?

This story would be humorous if it wasn't so indicative of so much reporting today. An expert on student loans who has been used by multiple news outlets doesn't even exist. How many anonymous sources and experts are figments of journalists' imagination? Here is what the Chronicle of Higher Education has noted about a phantom expert source going by the name 'Drew Cloud':

Drew Cloud is everywhere. The self-described journalist who specializes in student-loan debt has been quoted in major news outlets, including The Washington PostThe Boston Globe, and CNBC, and is a fixture in the smaller, specialized blogosphere of student debt.

He’s always got the new data, featuring irresistible twists:

One in five students use extra money from their student loans to buy digital currencies.

Nearly 8 percent of students would move to North Korea to free themselves of their debt.

Twenty-seven percent would contract the Zika virus to live debt-free.

All of those surveys came from Cloud’s website, The Student Loan Report.

Drew Cloud’s story was simple: He founded the website, an "independent, authoritative news outlet" covering all things student loans, "after he had difficulty finding the most recent student loan news and information all in one place."

He became ubiquitous on that topic. But he’s a fiction, the invention of a student-loan refinancing company.

It appears Drew Cloud's stories on student debt were as truthful as the Russian dossier and Russian collusion story itself. 

Photo Credit: Andy Mabbett, via Creative Commons SA 3.0

Think of all the stories that New York Times and Washington Post put out about Trump and "chaos" based on anonymous sources. How many times have stories come out that Trump was thinking about firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with no actual evidence?

How many "experts" on climate change are continually wrong but just repeat their theory anyway with the media in lockstep, yet no actual evidence that the theory is true? Here is a hint for the media: If the "experts" have to repeatedly manipulate the data to get the results they want, the theory is not settled science. 

Finally, when are journalists actually going to do some research instead of reporting things because it fits their agenda? Instead of quoting fake, failed or phantom 'experts,' they should do their own research and prove things before they report about them. Somehow, that just isn't convenient.

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