Journalism is complicated. New York Post statehouse hack-in-chief Fred Dicker has been leading the pack in Caroline Kennedy-related anonymous smear stories. And now he's basically outing his own anonymous source, to criticize the Governor. What?

Dicker had an anonymous source close to the governor tell him all about the various problems Kennedy had, and why Governor Paterson never would have picked her. Dicker dutifully wrote all this up last weekend. Now, Paterson, naturally, says he doesn't know where that leak came from. Obviously he's lying, but the usual procedure is for the reporter on stories like this to keep his fucking mouth shut, since yes, he knows who the leaker is and where he got his information, but he granted the leaker anonymity, so it's bad form to scoff at official pronouncements or otherwise do things that would point to the identity of the source.

Dicker says fuck that!

Gov. Paterson yesterday insisted he had no idea who did the slime job on Caroline Kennedy - although the source of the information is about as close to him during the day as his wife is at night.

He's a liar.

The person responsible for the smear was an individual whose identity is well known to the press, whose full-time job is to do the governor's bidding, and who is intelligent enough not to call reporters to damage Kennedy's reputation without approval from the top - and that means Paterson.

Ha, this would be a great and upstanding story were it not for the fact that Dicker's own paper gave that source anonymity! Way to protect your sources, dude. Anyhow the Daily News already reported yesterday that the likely culprit behind the Kennedy attacks is Judy Smith, a flack close to the governor. The Post was just catching up to its own story. So weird. [NYP]