Your comments on anonymous sources are worth noting too. There's almost no benefit to going on the record; you'll still get quoted, and you avoid being held responsible for your words. I'm a big fan of anonymity in some cases, but in others it's simply ridiculous. I was struck, for example, by this passage in the AP wire story on the Chinese Harry Potter sequel:
Rowling's agent, the Christopher Little Literary Agency in London, said it was aware of the fake Chinese Harry. A spokeswoman who asked not to be identified refused to comment by telephone, but sent The Associated Press an e-mail saying, "We are taking this issue extremely seriously."