The topic for tonight’s opening segment on MSNBC’s Hardball was Todd Purdum’s Vanity Fair article on Sarah Palin, a story powered by many anonymous quotes. Guest Mike Murphy, an old McCain hand, mentioned that he too has been on the receiving end of attacks from many an anonymous “senior advisor.”

That caused Todd to admit the following with a small chuckle, but to my ears, totally sincerely:

“Well, I’ll tell you as a reporter, it’s amazing who we’ll call a ‘senior adviser.’ Uh, did I just admit that? Uh, hey, we’ve got to make the story look good.”

Worth remembering.

Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.