:: Thursday, July 07, 2005 ::
My sympathies to those in England -- and my deepest hopes that your response to this tragedy is more fruitful than ours was.
:: Wednesday, July 06, 2005 ::
:: Morat 9:32 AM :: ::
Judge orders NY Times reporter to jail
Have fun, Judy!:
Judith Miller, New York Times reporter, was ordered to jail by a US district court judge for refusing to tell prosecutors the name of her source in a case revolving around the leak of a CIA operative's name. Let me take a moment to elaborate on "journalistic privilege". As best I understand, of the 40-odd states that have such shield laws, not one would have exempted Miller and Cooper from testifying.
Certain members of the press are trying to pretend that an "absolute" journalistic shield should exist (and others are, to their credit, roundly mocking it as pure stupidity). That particular idea is nothing more than the whining of people who are unwilling to make even difficult ethical choices.
Reporters -- especially the big name ones -- want to be popular. And frankly nothing brings in the accolades like going to jail to protect a source. It's the journalistic equivalent of taking a bullet for your friends. It's solid gold, baby. Even people that hate you will grudgingly shake your hand and offer approval.
On the contrary, NONE of them want to make an ethically difficult choice. When you have shades of grey, when you lack the pure black and white of absolutes, you run the risk of making people dislike you. Your peers will judge you, and some will salute you and others decry you -- but you won't get that fellating they reserve for those in jail.
Reporters are still citizens, and sometimes they are the only way to determine guild or innocence in a crime. I have no problems with making it difficult for a prosecutor to force journalists testimony -- for instance, requiring that the prosecutor prove to the courts that ONLY the journalist can provide this information and that the information is critical to his case. A bar which Fitzgerald made -- quite easily.
People arguing for absolute shields for journalists -- absolute shields which DON'T exist between doctors and patients, between lawyers and clients -- are blind idealists at best. They're best buried deep in second-rate colleges, where hopefully their students will be too bright to fall for their bullshit anyways.
In related news, what the hell does this mean?
But just before today's hearing, he had received "in somewhat dramatic fashion" a direct personal communication from his source freeing him from his commitment to keep the source's identity secret, The A.P. said. God save us from journalists with a flair for the dramatic.
Seriously, I can only imagine that Rove was playing the martyr on the phone and Cooper thought it was even more idiotic than normal, considering he was about to sit in jail. I'd imagine that, after a few months of staring at possible jail time for the sake of an utter sleaze bag, listening to him whine and moan about how he's being SO persecuted would irritate me too.
Pragmatically, I think this is another sign that Fitzgerald has been playing close to the vest. I don't think Rove or the White House has a much better idea of what Fitzgerald is up to than we do. They know the contents of what they turned over to Fitzgerald, but they don't know what witnesses have testified to in Grand Jury -- or what information Fitzgerald has from other sources. For once, it's the White House fidgeting in the dark, wondering where the hammer's going to drop.
:: Morat 1:28 PM :: ::