Saturday, July 09, 2005


Martyrdom On The Cheap...

...or on the half-shell, if you prefer. Armando and Susan G over at DailyKos are all riled up over the Cleveland Plain Dealer's oh-so-sad claim that, because of Judy Miller's going to jail, they have been forced to drop two stories that relied on illegally-gathered information. Boo-hoo-hoo. Yeah, tell me another one, Mommy. I've read better fiction in the letters section of Penthouse. Here's one reason why the CPD is full of crap: Ohio has a shield law for journalists. That law was tested in the Chiquita case -- and held up. The CPD knows this. But they want to whine anyway, because they get to look like martyrs without actually having to suffer so much as a damned hangnail. But let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the CPD really did have two stories they were sitting on that were based on illegally-obtained information. Guess what? There already is a direct precedent for holding those stories back: FOOD LION. If you work in mainstream media, you know all about the Food Lion case. That's a much more direct precedent than the Miller case. And much more germane. (For one thing, the Miller case is not about a whistleblower breaking the law for the greater good. It's about a person who's protecting criminals in power who happen to be her best buddies.) If the shock waves caused by the 1997 Food Lion ruling didn't cause the CPB to spike these two alleged stories, nothing would have. Ergo, the CPB is full of crap.

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