Monday, July 03, 2006

A Few Good Links

The Wall Street Journal has a truly great article breaking down what happened with the story that the New York Times broke last week, and reflecting on the idea that "not all the news is fit to print." It's a truly wonderful piece, going through the story and concepts one part at a time. Well worth the read.

As Alexander Bickel wrote, the relationship between government and the press in the free society is an inevitable and essential contest. The government needs a certain amount of secrecy to function, especially on national security, and the press in its watchdog role tries to discover what it can. The government can't expect total secrecy, Bickel writes, "but the game similarly calls on the press to consider the responsibilities that its position implies. Not everything is fit to print." The obligation of the press is to take the government seriously when it makes a request not to publish. Is the motive mainly political? How important are the national security concerns? And how do those concerns balance against the public's right to know?

The problem with the Times is that millions of Americans no longer believe that its editors would make those calculations in anything close to good faith. We certainly don't. On issue after issue, it has become clear that the Times believes the U.S. is not really at war, and in any case the Bush Administration lacks the legitimacy to wage it.

So, for example, it promulgates a double standard on "leaks," deploring them in the case of Valerie Plame and demanding a special counsel when the leaker was presumably someone in the White House and the journalist a conservative columnist. But then it hails as heroic and public-spirited the leak to the Times itself that revealed the National Security Agency's al Qaeda wiretaps.

(via Life-of-Rubin) Mediacrity has a great post about the language the Times uses.
Thus the Palestinians did not kidnap an Israeli soldier-- a term used by pretty much everyone other than the terrorists themselves -- they "captured" him. The Israelis did not arrest Hamas legislators, they "seized" them.
Finally, R' Gil Student gets a huge mazel tov on the birth of a baby boy!! Wonderful news! (Shidduch!?! :) )

And, speaking of shidduchim... Nephtuli got married today! Mazel Tov!