Friday, December 09, 2005

WSJ: Press Shot Itself in the Foot Over Valerie Plame

In their mad, drooling dash to pin something, anything on their ideological enemies in the White House, the mainstream media have encouraged precedents that will affect journalism for years to come. That's the opinion of Daniel Henninger, writing in the WSJ Opinion Journal, and his argument is hard to counter:
It is bitterly ironic that this most apolitical of prosecutors has come to Washington and is sucking into his legalistic maw one journalist after another, while the press privilege to protect sources is put at risk. Yet the legal raccoon hunt continues. The impression remains that if the Beltway press could tree Karl Rove or Dick Cheney for an IIPA violation, the sacrifice of their colleagues and any potential damage done to newsgathering would be regarded as well worth it. The relish with which the pack descended to chew on Bob Woodward for not joining them is proof enough of that.
This is a good read. Henninger really points out the short-sighted political agenda that lead mainstream media to hype the Plame case.

Unsaid is that there's not really any reliable way to distinguish a leaker from a whistleblower. Sometimes whistleblowers are a good thing. Thanks to the scorched earth policy of today's "journalists", tomorrow's whistleblowers have something else to consider before pursing their lips. A subpoena from a special prosecutor.