The NY Times Is Begging For It
How many times, as children, did we hear something along the lines of "Knock it off! You're begging for it!" where "it" is a spanking or some other punishment? Children who lack positive attention will settle for negative, when the alternative is no attention at all. So it is with the Times. Every month their numbers slip a little further, and they lean further and further left to placate what little audience they have. They would be delighted with a spanking from the federal government. It would solidify their liberal street creds even further, and rally the left to them in a way that nothing else can at this point. You'll see Kos Kids subscribing just to vote with their wallets. There will be buttons popping up on blogs to support the Times, with a link to the subscribe page. Even moderates who believe the Times was wrong will rally around the banner of the free press because of the slippery slope argument. Representative Peter King (NY) is playing right into their bloody, treasonous hands by calling for an investigation. The actual law is irrelevant. The facts in this case, as in the rest of this war, are irrelevant, because they will be drowned out by half-truths, lies and irrelevancies from the anti-war leftist media. In short, if they get the attention they want, they win.
If you want to prosecute someone, get the leakers. Treason, espionage, sedition, conspiracy - some charge will apply. Some people will rally around them and call them whistleblowers, but it will be much harder to find support for people who violated the security clearances they agreed to than it will to find support for prosecuting anyone in the media, however justified. Prosecute them, and if they are guilty, apply the maximum penalty, and find some way to stop them from writing a book and making money from their crimes.
In the meantime, the press has the right to try to find things out, not the right to be told. Take back their press passes. Lock the Times and the other publishers of classified information out of every official government press conference on any subject. Never let them see the inside of Air Force One again. If they want to cover a Presidential trip, they can fly commercial. If they want to report on government activities, they can regurgitate the coverage of the media who obeyed the law. For those who obeyed the law, open the door wide. Give them every consideration. Refurbish the press room at the White House, invite them to special events, do everything possible to show appreciation for the fact that they declined to publish information that will hurt the war effort.
It may not be the legal justice that the Times deserves, but it's a practical, achievable win, and it needs to be done.
Posted by Laura Curtis at June 25, 2006 11:48 AM
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|# June 26th, 2006 12:34 PM thegameiam|
|But the only way to get the names of the leakers to prosecute will be to go through the reporters! I agree with your approach other than that. |
|# June 26th, 2006 1:34 PM james|
|what specific event are you referring to? i rarely read politically-charged news anymore - everyone in news reporting seems to have an agenda, and it makes the news a big friggin' joke to me. |
|# June 26th, 2006 6:42 PM Laura|
|You're right, I should have been more clear. Yet another classified national security program, this one on tracking terrorist financing, that the Times admitted right in the article was legal and effective. They still saw fit to report it, even though they admitted it "might" affect the effectiveness of the program. |
|# July 3rd, 2006 12:01 PM mbrlr|
Treasonous? That's a bit much.
Prosecuting the leakers for leaking news of a program that's tracking calls within the US is silly. Getting news of the existence of a program which is actually of at least questionable legality and right in line with the current tendency to just not bother with warrants or the courts in general was something I appreciated and something our press is supposed to do.
Charges of "Treason, espionage, sedition, conspiracy" and intimidation of leakers and the media probably won't apply. John Adams tried something along those lines over 200 years ago and it was a dismal failure and isn't viewed well in our history.
"In the meantime, the press has the right to try to find things out, not the right to be told." I'll just leave that statement where it is and tell you that I rather (*rimshot*) disagree.
Playing silly "you're not allowed" games and putting saunas in Air Force One for the "good" press is just...good Lord.
The First Amendment is one of the main bulwarks against an occasional tendency towards monarchy that our presidents have shown over the last 200 years. Engaging in efforts to circumvent it would be absurd.
At least the Supreme Court isn't completely lost just yet and can still reason on occasion.
|# July 3rd, 2006 6:53 PM Laura|
|I'm not surprised you think prosecuting people who agreed to keep classified information classified is silly. |
|# July 5th, 2006 2:24 PM mbrlr|
|The First Amendment can be a pain sometimes, can't it? The benefits outweigh the pains, though. |
|# July 5th, 2006 2:30 PM BVBigBro|
|Spoken like someone divorced from the pain. |
|# July 5th, 2006 6:28 PM kris|
|I was re-reading some of Band of Brothers the other day and it reminded me of this. After the 101st got back from Normandy, they were a big deal since they were one of the few units who participated in D-Day back in England. As such, Ike came to visit them. He had them gather around and asked any present reporters to make his remarks off the record and then told the boys that things were going great and that they might be home by Christmas. To my knowledge, nothing like this was ever printed.
Today, the press would print it, without regard for what such a statement would do to the enemy. And then, if another Battle of the Bulge resulted we'd be subjected to hundreds of "Ike LIED!!" stories.
|# July 6th, 2006 9:58 AM Laura|
|I recently subscribed to http://www.newspaperarchive.com and it's really interesting to see the old headlines how they covered things. It's a LOT different today, way more to the left, way more editorial. |
|# July 6th, 2006 10:02 AM kris|
|I don't have a problem with a newspaper having a point of view--as long as they're open and honest about it. I mean, I totally disagree with our Capital Times, but I know what I'm going to get and they don't pretend to be objective. That's fine. Ideally we'd have partisan newspapers covering stories from all sorts of angles and viewpoints--which, come to think of it, is exactly what blogs do now. |