Saturday, January 03, 2004

ETHICALLY WRONG, LEGALLY RIGHT: If you've paid attention, you'd notice the fact that I'm a journalist. Nothing big time, but I still feel compelled to the FBI's new legal tactics in their attempt to find the leaker in the Plame-scandal. The two pieces revealing it: NBC News and Time Magazine, each rumored to employ one of the journalists to which Plame's identity was leaked. As explained on MSNBC's website:

The FBI is focusing on the White House as the probable source of the unauthorized disclosure of the identity an undercover CIA officer and has asked staffers to sign a form releasing reporters from any promises of confidentiality they may have made to their sources, NBC News has learned.
My stand is simple: I think it's wrong for reporters to reveal their sources. But I also think that the Supreme Court has been extremely clear: there is no First Amendment privilege on identifying sources. (As Gregg Easterbrook argued, free speech doesn't come without cost.)

So what if Novak fails to protect his confidential sources and spills the beans? His career will be over, but in this case, national security trumps a columnists' career, especially a conservative one.


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