Thursday, August 4, 2005

Anonymous Lies From Anonymous Sources

Frances Cerra Whittelsey in The Nation:

So now we know for sure. Those "highly placed Bush Administration sources" anonymously quoted over and over again in front-page and cover stories are, in fact, the likes of Karl Rove and Lewis Libby. The Valerie Plame affair has not only outed the chronic propaganda leakers in the Bush Administration; it has also exposed for the public to see the corrupt relationship between the White House and leading members of the national press corps.
It's no wonder George W. Bush has such contempt for the media. His cronies must laugh regularly about how easily they manipulate reporters. Driven by ego and competitive pressure, they are willing carriers of the Administration's propaganda, blinded by feelings of false power because they are close to the people actually pulling their strings.
We need a national shield law, but not to protect promises of confidentiality to some of the most powerful people In the world. We need it to protect reporters who place their jobs on the line--and frequently lose them--when they take the risk of exposing abuses of power by those inside government and without.

No, the first lesson of the Valerie Plame affair should not be about how better to protect reporters like Judith Miller, although reporters clearly need better protection. Instead, let's first make it an occasion for soul-searching about how the mainstream media covers the President of the United States.

I have nothing to add to that.

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