Howard Kurtz atetmpts to rally some sympathy for the Times Two, and unfortunately stumbles into the Bay of Pigs Club, from which exit is almost impossible. Once you buy into the use of a “might have been” (and a mightily mischaracterized one at that) to justify the publication of secrets that could help terrorists elude capture, there’s no argument left because the “Bay of Pigs” mantra is an appeal to fiction, not to fact or history.
No major media outlet in the United States has ever knowingly, and over the objection of the United States government, ever published classified information that could assist the nation’s enemies. Period. What the New York Times has done –and the Los Angeles Times copied– is without precedent, which is why a Congressional response is so necessary, and hopefully forthcoming soon.
Kurtz notes that “[m]ost Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, lay low,” adding that “Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sidestepped a question yesterday about whether the Times should be prosecuted.”
In fact, lawmakers of both parties are for the most part “laying low,” and that is not distinguishing them in the eyes of the public interested in seriousness about the war.
If it is a war -and it is– and if the disclosures helped our enemies –and they did– Congress should draft, debate and vote on resolutions condemning the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times by name.
The First Amendment protects the press in most of its operations and from almost all prior restraints on publication.
But not from deserved criticism from the genuine representatives of the people.
Now where’s the Senate?