Thomas Sowell

In this "me" generation, it may be too much to expect reporters to take into account how what they are saying and doing can cost other people's lives. We have already seen some of these reporters sent home because they refuse to respect the ban on giving out troop locations and other potentially fatal information.

The phrase "the public's right to know" has been used to cover a multitude of media sins. The public also has a right not to know, when they don't want information at the expense of young American soldiers' lives.

By and large, the reporters "embedded" with troops in combat have behaved responsibly and provided us with reliable news faster than a huge organization like the Defense Department can. Embedded reporters stand out in sharp contrast with the carping cleverness of media people sitting in the safety of the Pentagon press room or the editorial offices of the New York Times.

In war, as in peace, the New York Times has continued its practice of putting editorials on the front page and calling them news. For example, a headline on a story coming out of Iraq, dated April 4th, read: "For Weary U.S. Troops, End is Still Elusive."

Fortunately, it turned out that they were not too weary to storm into Baghdad. If our troops really become "weary" after less than three weeks of fighting, how could we ever have fought for nearly four years in World War II? Maybe the N.Y. Times is trying to compete with Peter Arnett in countercultural cleverness.

The time is long overdue to stop taking the media, as well as the U.N., so seriously.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate