Friday, October 28, 2005

Matthew Yglesias Says I Was Right

At TAPPED, he puts it better than I could have:
One thing that's now clear is that everyone who claimed, asserted, or assumed that Judith Miller went to jail to protect journalists' right to preserve the anonymity of their sources was mistaken. Miller herself was lying. ...If Miller hadn't been subpoenaed, her source would have been revealed. If the Supreme Court had ruled in her favor, her source would have been revealed. If Miller had refused to testify, her source would have been revealed.

The anonymity of sources, in short, had nothing to do with it.

Miller was, in fact, protecting Libby. But she was protecting him from a perjury charge, not protecting his anonymity. I'm not familiar with any construal of journalistic evidence wherein a reporter has an obligation to help a source who's already identified himself as a source cover up criminal conduct. The entire back-and-forth about whether or not Libby's waivers were or were not uncoerced was a red herring. Insofar as Libby didn't want Miller to testify, that was because he wanted her to cover for his perjury. He had long ago identified himself.
As I've previously mentioned, my father is a journalist. So you can imagine that we had some disagreements on the whole journalists-in-prison issue. Especially after my somewhat strident remarks regarding Miller earlier this year.

In any case, I now get to my father and have a nice long Nyahhh at his expense.

Miller is lucky she's not facing an indictment of her own today. And if they're smart, the journalists of the New York Times will move quickly to disown her - or rather, they'll do so faster than they already are. She's shown that she has no interest in discovering the truth, which is, you know, a rather important aspect of her profession. She participated in a conspiracy to obstruct justice - in the ethical and moral sense, if not a legal one.

It's times like this that I almost wish journalism were a guilded profession, like medicine. If it were, it would be possible to simply discipline her and revoke her license. But freedom of the press is too valuable, even at the risk of letting slime like Miller run loose.

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