Thursday, August 19, 2004

Freedom of the press would be great if we had a free press 

A few years ago—oh, maybe about when the Times reported that the Florida 2000 "bourgeios rioters were all paid Republican staffers from DC, after the Supreme Court decided the election—I would have been all for the press on this one. And if I felt we still had a free press, I'd be all for them this time. Right now, though... We have the First Amendment for these guys, why, exactly? Is the press holding up it's end of the bargain? I'm not so sure. Anyhow:

Media organizations and their attorneys see an unprecedented threat to the widespread agreements by which reporters promise sources not to identify them by name in order to receive valuable and often sensitive information. Reporters have long argued that the Constitution's guarantee of a free press shields them from being forced to disclose what they have learned in confidence.
(via AP)

Well, could be. On the other hand, there's a lot of actual reportage that can be done with open sources and keeping one's eyes open. I can see confidentiality for whistleblowers. But for administration officials who want to leak or float trial balloons? Why? Dunno. Readers?

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