Edward Wasserman writes insightfully today about the sickening spectacle of American's elite "journalists" cheerfully offering testimony about confidential sources after arranging waivers that only demonstrated their unwillingness to defend their principles.
Nearly all testified about conversations that started out as confidential talks. They later wrestled waivers from their confidential sources — waivers granted amid intense prosecutorial pressure — and they happily share the chummy, once-secret talks they had with the political elite. They've become the grandest choir of singing journalists in the history of the late, great First Amendment…hat happened is that these journalistic heavyweights — and their employers — just didn't have the stomach for a fight.
At the same time, a blogger and amateur videographer, Josh Wolf, has stayed in jail for nearly six months, refusing to turn over interviews from a minor globalization protest. Josh Wolf isn't considered a journalist–because he doesn't work for a major newspaper or cable outlet. He isn't considered a journalist because he doesn't move in a rarified air of off-the-record admissions and confidential sources. He isn't out of jail, because he believes in principle.
Where are the pious invocations about the sanctity of information gathering that the media elite offered Judith Miller? Where are the outraged editorials? It seems that defense of the First Amendment only extends so far–to the elite opinion makers who endlessly repeat the lies that government officials peddle to them.
Certainly what the First Amendment was all about.
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