The Jaker

Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.

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Monday, July 11, 2005
The press needs to be protected
This is the problem that occurs when courts can compel a journalist to disclose the identity of a confidential source: newspapers and reporters will stop investigating, in fear of legal action. The Cleveland Plain Dealer now says they will not publish 2 major investigative stories that are based on illegally leaked documents, because they fear that they will be fined and their reporters jailed.

This is a difficult balancing act to perform. The courts and the public have a right to have criminal acts punished, i.e. if Karl Rove's outing of Valerie Plame's identity was indeed illegal, he should be indicted for it. But Deep Throat's actions were once thought of as illegal as well, and clearly his ability to be a confidential source helped us root out a huge corruption scandal in the White House. I'm not sure where we should go from here.
posted by CB @ 1:52 PM  
  • At 5:25 PM, Anonymous jared said…

    I think Michael Kinsley has it somewhat right.

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