A Free Press as a Partisan Pawn
If Jonah Goldberg is “all in favor of a free press”, then why does he continue to attack John Harwood and William Safire? Could this be it:
And of course, there’s partisan cynicism and hypocrisy at play. (The White House loves to leak beneficial information to the press.) But there are merits to press criticism as well. What infuriates me is how anybody who raises these criticisms is caught in a Catch-22. It works like this: The media gets to reveal anything it wants for any reason it sees fit in the name of “the people’s right to know.”
The National Review should change its name to Hypocrisy ‘R Us. Take for example the time when John Aschroft tried to attack Jamie Gorelick during the 9-11 Commission hearings. Who did the Administration turn to when they wanted to leak a classified memo – the National Review. The National Review lied here just as they have repetitively lied in regards PlameGate, which involves the leaking of the name of a CIA agent. But as noted here, Jonah Goldberg sees no problem with the outing of CIA agents when it’s time to defend the partisans in the White House.
Notice this portion of Jonah’s latest:
It is telling that the only leak that troubles the press and its cheerleaders is the Valerie Plame leak. When Dana Priest revealed the location of secret “CIA prisons,” she was rewarded with a Pulitzer. When Lichtblau and James Risen disclosed the NSA surveillance program, they got Pulitzers, too. These revelations caused serious damage to America’s ability to work with allies to fight terrorism and arguably put lives in danger. And yet the only leak to scandalize the media establishment was Plame’s identity as a CIA employee. Why? Because it (allegedly) exposed the only serious enemy America faces: Karl Rove.
Goldberg is repeating Bill Bennett’s malarkey, which Dana Priest thoroughly refuted. And you might recall that when he attacked me for suggesting that the outing of the identity of CIA agents risked their lives and undermined our ability to collect intelligence (this time on Iran’s nuclear intentions), he wrote this:
But since these leaks don’t promise to hurt Bush or get Karl Rove in trouble they are not “beyond the pale,” rather according to this guy, such leaks are in fact the bread and butter of a free society.
We love you too Jonah – but let’s get two things straight. In my view, Al Qaeda is the enemy. In your view, those independents, Democrats, and even Republicans (e.g., Harwood and Safire) who actually do want a free press are the enemies. After all, the only reason you are attacking Harwood and Safire is that’s exactly what Karl Rove wants you to do.
Update: I have failed to mention that Andrew Sullivan has been defending the First Amendment as well – even as Jonah Goldberg attacks Sulli with:
I am trying to maintain my restraint in taking Andrew Sullivan’s endless baiting seriously. But this argument-and fact-free-tantrum really is a jewel of the genre. I particularly like the use of the word “hysterical” amidst all the talk about degenerate souls and tyranny.
As we’ve seen on this issue as well as others – Goldberg’s source for “facts” is what ever spin Karl Rove is promoting that day.