Everyone has their knickers in a twist over the anonymous sourcing issue, but there is an easy solution.
I think we can all agree that George Bush the Elder was not much of a president and did not do much for the country. (Though we would all take him, or John Gotti for that matter, over his hellspawn son.)
But one admirable thing I heard (unconfirmed) from someone pretty well-versed in White House minutiae is that throughout his public career, including the White House years, Bush the Elder had a policy of never going off the record with reporters.
Inside-the-Beltway journalists are indeed lazy and semi-corrupt in many instances and should not use anonymous sources in any but the most extreme circumstances; but the politicians and public officials are equally responsible, and could end this whole morass by simply never touching the seductive crack cocaine of off-the-record comments. Were this practice widespread in public life, the nation would benefit.