Murray Waas’ latest piece for the National Journal discusses the increasing number of leak investigations involving members of the press. Although Waas quotes New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, we’ve obtained Keller’s full (and blunt and passionate) email on the subject and it’s worth a read in full (especially if you’re last name is Miller, Priest, Cooper, Novak, etc…).
“I’m not sure journalists fully appreciate the threat confronting us — The Times in the eavesdropping case, the Post for its CIA prison stories, and everyone else who has tried to look behind the war on terror. Maybe we’re suffering a bit of subpoena fatigue. Maybe some people are a little intimidated by the way the White House plays the soft-on-terror card.
“Whatever the reason, I worry that we’re not as worried as we should be. No president likes reporters sniffing after his secrets, but most come to realize that accountability is the price of power in our democracy. Some officials in this administration, and their more vociferous cheerleaders, seem to have a special animus towards reporters doing their jobs. There’s sometimes a vindictive tone in way they talk about dragging reporters before grand juries and in the hints that reporters who look too hard into the public’s business risk being branded traitors. I don’t know how far action will follow rhetoric, but some days it sounds like the administration is declaring war at home on the values they profess to be promoting abroad.”