Meet the Press: Bill Bennett Bloodied

After reading Christy say this:

What the WaPo doesn’t feature, but Atrios does — and I thought this was interesting as I looked up the individual show schedules as well: balance for these shows in pundit/journalist segment equals several partisan conservative commentators and two journalists

I wrote this:

First, invite John Warner to lunch and ask him to bring along Lindsey Graham and John McCain. Before my liberal friends scream that this would be a lunch similar to most Meet the Press panels – that is tilted toward the right – hear me out.

I owe John Harwood and William Safire a big apology. Of course, Dana Priest was excellent even as John Goldberg whines. But check out the clip provided here. Duncan Black notes:

While the ideological makeup of the MTP panel today was absurd, it was good to see that the journalists, and even Andrea Mitchell, seemed to understand that something obscene was going on. Kudos to the producer who sat Dana Priest next to the bloviating gambling gasbag, who had previoulsy called for her to be imprisoned. As Bennett kept yammering on and interrupting people they mostly managed to treat him like a deranged drunk uncle whose presence in the room made them ill.

Yet, Jonah Goldberg argues:

Today’s “Meet the Press” roundtable, still going, is a scandal of media egocentrism. With the exception of Bill Bennett, the groupthink on display is staggering. Criticizing the media is inherently silly according to this papal conclave of journalists. Any criticism is either an example of know-nothing populism or cynical electioneering, according to Dana Priest, Bill Safire, John Harwood et al. Journalists are always heroes and leakers should never be prosecuted. We’re always right, no matter what. It’s just an outrageous display of self-importance.

Let’s turn to the MTP transcript and watch Bill Bennett advocating a tyranny replace our Constitution:

All right, now you’ve got, you’ve got, you’ve got three people on one side, you’ve got me on the other side. Let me just, let me just state my position. It’s not time to break out the champagne and the Pulitzers … The difference is, the government was elected. People may not like the Bush administration, but they were elected and they are entitled to due consideration on these matters … Is it wrong for the government to go after the press when the press has gone too far?

This was followed by:

MR. SAFIRE: Oh, you’re saying “get after them.” That means threatening reporters, and threaten them with contempt and put them in jail.
MR. BENNETT: Absolutely, absolutely.
MR. SAFIRE: And that’s wrong.
MS. MITCHELL: Bill, what, what…(unintelligible)…let me ask, Bill…
MR. BENNETT: Why is that wrong, Bill? Why are they above the law?
MR. SAFIRE: Because they’re affected…
MR. HARWOOD: Because it’s a big step toward tyranny, which is what we’re supposed to be withholding.
MR. BENNETT: It isn’t a step toward tyranny. And what about the AIPAC, guys? Is that a step toward tyranny? They’re being prosecuted under the Espionage Act. Isn’t that more a step toward tyranny?

Here are the some of the other highlights from William Safire:

Here we are on Independence Day weekend, 230 years ago, celebrating what was the resistance to a king who said “We’re going to hang you for treason.” And here we have a Long Island congressman, happens to be named King, who’s saying “treason” and “put these reporters in jail.” I think there’s a big fundamental thing going on here now, and across the board, of “get the press, get the media.” … just as the American founding fathers challenged the British government. Now it’s not treasonable, it’s not even wrong for the press to say we’re going to find out what we can and we’ll act as a check and balance on the government. Sometimes we’ll make mistakes. Sometimes the government will mistake … We need to get after those people, and one way to get after those people is to talk to the reporters who – with whom they spoke.

Here is one the highlight from John Harwood:

There is not a large ideological gap between the news staffs of those two places, and why would there be? Some of the top people of The New York Times were hired from The Wall Street Journal. What I found shocking about the editorial was the assertion that The New York Times did not act in good faith in making that judgment. I don’t know anybody on the news staff of The Wall Street Journal that believes that. I certainly don’t.

Yes, I owe Harwood and Safire a big apology. Meanwhile, it does look like Jonah Goldberg would rather have King George I than a free press.

As far as leakers never being prosecuted, go back to the clip of Dana Priest where she listed the items that would represent actions by the press that could invoke prosecution – as in the leaking of the name of a CIA operative. Yet – the National Review is arguing that the Office of the Vice President should be above the law on PlameGate. Mr. Bennnet decide to raise the 85 days in prison for Judy Miller failing to let the viewers know she was helping the White House in their obstruction of justice. While Judy Miller helped the Office of the Vice President leak classified information designed to mislead us in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, that is not something anyone of us think should be prosecuted – just condemned.

Memo to Jonah Goldberg – there are some leaks that are truly beyond the pale as in the PlameGate matter. Too bad your organization is defending those leakers as you shown your disdain for a free press.

Update: Jonah replies by saying that my post:

offers a perfect case study of the principles and priorities of leftwing bloggers generally. After a long and revealing pile of excerpts, quotes and leaps of factual and logical fancy

Notice he did not say what were the “leaps of factual and logical fancy” but he did continue:

Get it? Leaks that objectively undermine the war effort which definitionally means putting peoples’ lives at greater risk are necessary in order to live in a free country. But alleged leaks of Valerie Plame’s name are so beyond the pale they must be prosecuted at all costs. Of course, to date there’s no evidence that Plame’s name was leaked in order to put her life in danger. Indeed, to date, there’s no evidence that leaking Plame’s name was even against the law or that it caused any damage whatsoever – save forcing us to endure listening to Joe Wilson talk about what a hero he is.

Letting the public know what al Qaeda figured out in regards SWIFT put no one’s live at risk and in no way undermined the GWOT. When Ms. Plame’s name was leaked, the intent of the Office of the Vice President was to attack her husband, but everyone knows that the lives of several CIA agents were put at risk. Everyone except Jonah Goldberg.