Friday, September 15, 2006

How to Obstruct Justice and Win a Pulitzer While You're At It

After parsing out national secrets in a way that if they were not journalists, might be considered espionage, the NY Times has decided that maybe they need to find ways to protect themselves and their sources from criminal investigation.

In the New York Observer, they have run a story documenting a series of legal seminars that the Times runs for its reporters.

“The main worry these days is not libel, or proving that you actually quoted something accurately,” said Craig Whitney, the paper’s standards editor. “It is being subpoenaed.”

In what one of my friends calls the "cold civil war," the NY Times has become the vangard of those who look like they are at war with the administration. When the newspaper seems to think that national security in a time of war doesn't matter, as long as they can run the story being ready to deal with supoenas might be a good call.

But being ready to defend oneself is not the end of the story here. They have been discussing ways to play cloak and daggar games with their sources, how to minimize their paper trail, destroy their notes and wipe out their electronic communication, just in case. Better to obstruct justice than to blow a chance at the Pulitzer...or let a critical national secret that they happen not to like remain unpublished, even if it means critical damage in our struggle against the people who would happily kill them as neatly as Daniel Pearl was killed.

Just another day in the "cold civil war."

Source here.

The Conservative Voice is covering this story.


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