Not-so-free Press

by teejay 16 Replies latest social current

  • czarofmischief

    The reporter's job is not to provide justice.

    I DO think that judges of a certain level, maybe State Supreme Court, should be able to order reporters to yield up their sources if the case demands it.

    I mean, if the source is completely protected, that means the reporter can make the decision for US about what information to tell us and what not to tell us. Who was where, who saw what, and who should be punished for what they did. They then stop being reporters and start being judges and juries - protecting some and punishing others.

    I wonder, how would you feel about reporter's privilege, if a reporter had interviewed several Jehovah's Witness pedophiles about how easy it is to prey upon Witness kids and how they get away with it. Would reporter's privilege be sacrosanct in that case? After all, the reporter could decide in his / her mind that pedophiles shouldn't even be punished and that protecting the source protects pedophile rights. As well as their ability to write another "scoop" about the lives of pedophiles, which these days might even win a Pulitzer, get a movie deal, or provide the next "civil rights" icon...

    The first amendment has nothing to do with protecting criminals. Extreme case, but it could happen. I imagine NAMBLA hires reporters from time to time to write their case for them.

    Reporter's privilege is like everything else, it's relative and conditional. It's a good principle, but sometimes the authorities need to be in possession of all the facts and be able to subpoena witnesses.


  • Satanus


    In other situations, as czar describes, i agree w you.


  • teejay

    Btw, Robert Novak is a scum-sucking, low-life, hypocrite. Did I really say that?

    Believes in Revealing Confidential Sources, After All
    Published: September 13, 2004 11:00 AM EDT

    Syndicated columnist Robert Novak apparently believes that the principle of not revealing confidential sources is rather flexible.

    The man who has stood on this principle for months, in deflecting calls for him to identify who in the Bush administration "outed" CIA operative Valerie Plame, said this weekend on national television that CBS should release the name of its source for the documents at the center of the dispute over its recent program on President Bush's National Guard service.

    On the CNN panel show, "Capital Gang," Novak expressed grave doubts about the CBS documents, then said: "I'd like CBS to say where they got these documents. I think they should say where they got these documents because I thought it was a very poor job of reporting by CBS ...."

    Fellow panelist, Al Hunt, from the Wall Street Journal, then replied: "Robert Novak, you're saying CBS should reveal its source?"

    The transcript continues:

    NOVAK: Yes.

    HUNT: You do? You think reporters ought to reveal sources?

    NOVAK: No, no. Wait a minute.

    HUNT: I'm just asking.

    NOVAK: I'm just saying in that case.

    HUNT: Oh.

    NOVAK: I think -- I think it's very important. If this is a phony document, the American -- the people should know about it.

    HUNT: So in some cases, reporters ought to reveal sources.

    NOVAK: Yes.

    HUNT: But not in all cases.

    NOVAK: That's right.
  • confusedjw

    Satanus - are you a reporter? For what type of publication? How big?

    And I agree with you, in some situations reporters make a conscientious decision,. for the greater good to not reveal a source - ie Watergate and I'm sure numberous other import reports that have protected people like myself.

    But it's not with automatic protection, which I also think is good.

    ON THE OTHER HAND: Didn't the guy investigating Clinton put a woman in jail for two years for not puking up junk on Clinton? I can't recall all the details as you can see, but that seemed like a straight abuse of power. (I realize she wasn't a reporter). But wasn't that basically a "you tell me what you want to hear or rot in jail?"

    That too can be wrong.

  • teejay
    Didn't the guy investigating Clinton put a woman in jail for two years for not puking up junk on Clinton? I can't recall all the details as you can see, but that seemed like a straight abuse of power.

    Susan McDougal. A sickening story.

    And yes. A straight abuse of power is all it was.

  • nilfun

    Regarding Robert Novak, I love the way Jon Stewart put it:

    "In a related story, reporter Robert Novak leaked the identity of an active CIA agent
    over a year ago and is still allowed to darken the phosphor dots of my t.v. tube.

    Just thought I'd mention it."

    (at the end of clip )

  • Satanus

    Susan mcdougal's ex-husband, jim was also imprisoned. He died there of a heart attack.


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