The Old Media are far from contrite about their latest national security betrayal. Instead, they have begun attacking their accusers.
Every time the Old Media are criticized, they trot out the First Amendment, as if they are its exclusive guardians. Heaven help us if that's the case. For it's not the First Amendment they worship, but their self-anointed stewardship of it. Why else would they so adamantly favor suppression of political speech for all but themselves during the 60 days preceding elections? Why else would many of them favor the "Fairness Doctrine" to squelch their successful conservative competitors on radio? Why else would they defend draconian campus speech codes?
The New York Times and Los Angeles Times came under deservedly harsh criticism for reporting -- over the administration's vigorous objections -- the CIA's program of tracking terrorists' financial transactions.
Instead of apologizing, they congratulated themselves for defending the Constitution. Bill Keller of the New York Times and Dean Baquet of the Los Angeles Times co-wrote an op-ed defending their decision. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof followed up with a supporting editorial.
Keller and Baquet wrote, "But the virulent hatred espoused by terrorists … is also aimed at our values, at our freedoms and at our faith in the self-government of an informed electorate. If the freedom of the press makes some Americans uneasy; it is anathema to the ideologists of terror."
Who says "some Americans" are "uneasy" about the freedom of the press? It is not the "freedom" that makes people uneasy but the reckless abuse of that freedom.
Keller and Baquet approvingly quoted Justice Hugo Black, that "The government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people." Yes, but it was not protected to inform our enemies.
Keller and Baquet lamented that they get no credit for deciding not to publish certain stories where they were convinced "the risk of publication outweighed the benefits."
Well, I personally don't believe they are entitled to plaudits for acting in the national interest, as if their occasional conquest of an irresistible impulse to betray an administration for which they have seething contempt makes them Nobel-worthy.
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