Monday, July 11, 2005

On Journalistic Privilege

Woodward and Bernstein are on CNN at the moment, and mounting a decent defense of the right to keep anonymous sources. One thing they are clear on is that, regardless of legal consequences, anonymity is something to be protected by the press from the government - reporters, if they're serious about this privilege, should be willing to go to jail over it.

But Woodward said something hillarious just before the commercial break - that if Time (CNN's parent company) is willing to burn one anonymous source, they'll be reduced to having nothing but government spokespeople on their shows.


At last count, the regular contributors to CNN included, but were not limited to:

Paul Begala, former Clinton staff.
James Carville, former Clinton staff.
Gen. Wesley Clark, US Army (ret.)
Gen. David Grange, US Army (ret.)
Bay Buchanan, Treasurer to Ronald Reagan.
Donna Brazile, campaign manager for President Clinton and Vice President Gore.

These are just off the top of my head, but I'd say that if Woodward is worried about CNN having "nothing but government spokespeople" on their shows, he's about a decade too late.

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