Sunday, July 10, 2005

You're being kept in the dark!

It doesn't happen often that you know about it, but this time there's proof: the government is purposely supressing the facts about something extremely critical to your lives. So shocking is the story that it would have ramifications for our entire Nation for generations to come. The very foundations of our freedoms are involved and you most definitely need to know everything you can about it.

Of course, I can't tell you. Sure, I know and don't get me wrong; I'd love to tell you all about it so you could make the best plans for your families and, perhaps, rise up to do something about it. But, it's based on leaked documents and, under advice of council, I can't reveal the contents. It's hugely critical and of life-and-death importance to every American, but you know how it is. I mean, the Supreme Court didn't create a uniquely protected class for me to reside within and be completely untouchable by such pesky laws as, for example - and I'm just sayin' - the Constitution. So, I'm afraid I have to just hold this one close to my chest. Under my hat. Behind locked lips. You know, sort of "languishing" in my arms. Too bad. Sad for you. I'll bet you wish you'd voted the way I've always thought you should now, so you could know all about this. Buuut you didn't and now... well... you're hosed. How bad? Well, I could tell you, of course, if it weren't for that stuff about the leaked documents. Tsk. Sorry.

Gag.

I saw this while browsing last night and was reminded of it today by a post over on Captain's Quarters. The Cleveland Plain Dealer is saying that they are purposely holding back reporting on 2 stories because they're afraid to say anything since the Supreme Court refused to hear a final appeal on 2 reporters who refused to testify to a Grand Jury as required by law. The New York Times reports on it:

::::::::The editor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer said last night that the newspaper, acting on the advice of its lawyers, was withholding publication of two major investigative articles because they were based on illegally leaked documents and could lead to penalties against the paper and the jailing of reporters.

The editor, Doug Clifton, said lawyers for The Plain Dealer had concluded that the newspaper, Ohio's largest daily, would probably be found culpable if the authorities were to investigate the leaks and that reporters might be forced to identify confidential sources to a grand jury or go to jail.

...

Mr. Clifton likened the situation to the cases of Judith Miller, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, who was sent to jail by a federal judge on Wednesday for refusing to divulge the identity of a confidential source, and of Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, who was spared jail after his source released him from a promise of confidentiality, freeing him to testify before the grand jury.

In the most serious confrontation between the press and the government since the Pentagon Papers case in 1971, Ms. Miller and Mr. Cooper were held in civil contempt last year for not cooperating with a federal prosecutor's inquiry into the illegal disclosure of the identity of a covert operative for the Central Intelligence Agency. The Supreme Court refused to hear the reporters' appeals on June 27.

If anything, Mr. Clifton said, The Plain Dealer's potential legal problem with the leaked documents was "even more pointed" than the cases of Ms. Miller and Mr. Cooper.

"These are documents that someone had and should not have released to anyone else," he said. If an investigation were pursued, the newspaper, its reporters and their sources could all face court penalties for unauthorized disclosures.

Mr. Clifton declined to provide details about the two investigative articles being withheld, but he characterized them as "profoundly important," adding, "They would have been of significant interest to the public." Asked if they might be published at some later date, he said, "Not in the short term."
::::::::

So, the NYT is telling us that the Cleveland Plain Dealer is saying they're being kept from reporting 2 stories that are profoundly important and of significant interest to us. Says them. And we're supposed to just 1) believe that and 2) call, write, storm the offices of our legislators and urge/force them to pass legislation giving journalists carte blanche to flip the bird to any prosecutor who is investigating a crime and print whatever the hell they like. And we're supposed to do so because the newspapers are so trustworthy and brutally accurate in their reporting that anything they say can be taken as the gospel truth.

Oh, please. Between Jayson Blair, Eason Jordan, Dan Rather, Marla Mapes, the editors at the New York Times who pulled this piece of intelligence, this reporter for the Sacramento Bee, and the LA Times' guys who can't do simple Google searches, the Cleveland Plain Dealer should be counting their blessings that anyone believes they've got the right date on the masthead. You people want to start slinging around the "McCarthy" label? This story by the NYT and the PD - that they've got really, really, really, REALLY important information but they just can't tell us for security reasons - is page 1 of Joe McCarthy's playbook. It's petulant little foot stamping that we're all gonna be really, really sorry we didn't give them their way. It looks bad when my 4-year-old does it. It looks really pathetic when grown adults claiming to be professionals do it.