We’re all pretty interested in Jennifer Garner’s love life right now. Sorry, not sorry. We can’t help it. It’s definitely based in the fact that we love her and want her to be happy in this post-Ben Affleck era of her life. But as interested as we are, we don’t really want to hear from “anonymous sources” speculating on her love life anymore.
The latest rumors (because, yes, they are just rumors) came from an “insider” who told Entertainment Tonight that Garner “wants to be very careful and very selective when she does find the time to date — because of the kids.”
The source added, “She hasn’t made dating a priority. Jen wants to make sure that when she finally does decide she is ready for romance that her next man is in it for the long run.”
While all of that makes sense, we kind of have to take it with a grain of salt, right? We don’t know where that information is coming from. It’s unlikely it’s someone too close to Garner and her family, because the people she knows and trusts probably wouldn’t give private information about her to reporters, anonymously or otherwise.
As a former newspaper journalist, I understand source mapping, which is what it’s called when journalists build a network of people who are in the know and can give them tips about stories they should pursue. But I also understand that there are ethics concerns when it comes to printing information without attributing it to a source. You don’t know if that information is true, and if the readers don’t know who it came from, they can’t judge whether the source is credible or hold anyone accountable for false information. Sure, entertainment news is a little different from politics or economics, but why shouldn’t we hold entertainment reporters to the same standards?
Garner isn’t even close to the first celeb to have anonymous sources speculating about her life. This is so common in entertainment news — Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux and Ben Affleck and his new girlfriend, Lindsay Shookus, have all been victims of this just in the last few weeks. Maybe it’s time we stop speculating on celebrities’ private lives until the information comes from the horse’s mouth. What do you think?