Wednesday, July 6


This says pretty much all I want to say about the Judy Miller "resurrection as media heroine" affair.

If it becomes apparent to a journalist that a source lied to him on a matter crucial to the public good, should he be ethically permitted to expose the lie and the liar, despite any prior promises of confidentiality? Yes.

If a source with a clear political motivation passes along classified information that has no value for public debate but would endanger the career, and possibly the life, of a covert agent, is a journalist ethically permitted to "out" the no-good sneak? You bet. And if the knowledge that they can't always hide behind anonymity has a "chilling effect" on political hacks who are eager to manipulate the media in furtherance of their vested interests, that's OK with me.

My husband (The Sage) and I both studied journalism in college (his major, my minor), and it never occurred to us, nor were we taught, that a journalist has the right and/or privilege of keeping the secrets of criminals to the point that he/she becomes part of the conspiracy.


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