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21.12.14 0236
The W - Current Events & Politics - Judith Miller Jailed
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bash91
Merguez








Since: 2.1.02
From: Bossier City, LA

Since last post: 857 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.07
In a decision guaranteed to cause journalists to lose their minds for absolutely no good reason, Judge Thomas Hogan has ordered Judith Miller to jail for the next four months on contempt of court charges. According to CNN, (cnn.com) Miller was immediately taken into custody and will remain there until she agrees to testify or the end of the Grand Jury's term in four months.

For what it's worth, this was absolutely the right decision and the only one that could have been made. Despite the blather from Pinch Sulzberger and Lucy Dalglish, there is no such thing as reporter's privilege and there shouldn't be. A reporter is no different than an ordinary citizen in their ability to make a valid contract. If I contract to pay you to commit an illegal act, that contract is prima facie invalid. By the same token, a reporter can't contract to keep someone's identity secret when doing so interferes with a criminal investigation and those who argue otherwise are living in some parallel universe where the ability to actually read the First Amendment isn't a required skill for a reporter. A federal shield law is exactly the type of thing that the First Amendment is designed to prevent, not encourage.

I can sort of respect Miller for the courage of her convictions, but I can't help thinking that she's a moron for going to jail on this issue. I do appreciate that the judge refused to give her home detainment and is instead requiring her to actually go to jail for violating a valid court order.

Tim



Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. -- Erasmus
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DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.99
    Originally posted by bash91
    I can sort of respect Miller for the courage of her convictions, but I can't help thinking that she's a moron for going to jail on this issue. I do appreciate that the judge refused to give her home detainment and is instead requiring her to actually go to jail for violating a valid court order.

    Tim


It is refreshing in this age that someone actually has the courage of her convictions. I agree you shouldn't protect a criminal but if confidential sources believe a reporter will cave much will never come to light. My wife is a reporter for a daily. Too many public officials believe they have the right to stonewall the press and deny them access to public documents.



Perception is reality
Eddie Famous
Andouille








Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

Since last post: 1 day
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.91

Actually, too many journalists become accessories to crimes by hiding behind "anonymous sources". Good for the judge for standing up to this cretinous practice.

(edited by Eddie Famous on 8.7.05 1447)


As of 2/28/05: 101 pounds since December 7, 2004
OFFICIAL THREE-MONTH COUNT: 112 pounds on March 9, 2005
OFFICIAL SIX-MONTH COUNT: 142 pounds on June 8, 2005
As of 6/28/05: 144 pounds "I've lost a welterweight"
spf
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
And the first fallout from the decision seems to hit in Cleveland

Cleveland Plains-Dealer holding stories due to usage of anonymous sources (news.yahoo.com)

(edited by spf on 9.7.05 1543)
messenoir
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Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.81
    Originally posted by Eddie Famous
    Actually, too many journalists become accessories to crimes by hiding behind "anonymous sources". Good for the judge for standing up to this cretinous practice.

    (edited by Eddie Famous on 8.7.05 1447)


So, how many journalists use anonymous sources, and how many become accessories to crimes?



Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Eddie Famous
Andouille








Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

Since last post: 1 day
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.17

    Originally posted by messenoir
    So, how many journalists use anonymous sources, and how many become accessories to crimes?


When journalists use anonymous sources involved in a crime and do not divulge them to law enforcement, they are accessories to crimes. They are aiding someone trying to elude capture.

How many is many? Oh, a jillion. My anonymous source told me that.



As of 2/28/05: 101 pounds since December 7, 2004
OFFICIAL THREE-MONTH COUNT: 112 pounds on March 9, 2005
OFFICIAL SIX-MONTH COUNT: 142 pounds on June 8, 2005
As of 6/28/05: 144 pounds "I've lost a welterweight"
messenoir
Summer sausage








Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.68
Which of course is my point. You make the claim that "Actually, too many journalists become accessories to crimes" without seemingly knowing how many journalists actually use anonymous sources in the first place.

My annoyance becomes greater because conservative radio seems to be entirely too happy to blast the media for hiding behind anonymous sources without ever telling us how much of the media uses anonymous sources. It seems to me like another empty scare tactic to get people riled up against the media.

This also ignores the fact that, of the section of the media who actually use anonymous sources (anyone know the number?) at least a section of that group do so legitimately.

So, as far as I know, we are left with some unknown section of an unknown number of journalists using anonymous sources illegitimately, and yet somehow you still feel comfortable making the claim that "too many journalists become accessories to crimes." So again I ask, where is your factual basis for the "too many" part of that claim?



Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Eddie Famous
Andouille








Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 5 hours
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.17

    Originally posted by messenoir
    Which of course is my point. You make the claim that "Actually, too many journalists become accessories to crimes" without seemingly knowing how many journalists actually use anonymous sources in the first place.


If that is your point, congrats on finding the least important part of the statement to take issue with.

I don't know exactly how many people have cancer either, but I know it's too many.

The biggest point is one journalist becoming an accessory to crime is too many. And I have over twenty years in the business to know better.

(edited by Eddie Famous on 10.7.05 1116)


As of 2/28/05: 101 pounds since December 7, 2004
OFFICIAL THREE-MONTH COUNT: 112 pounds on March 9, 2005
OFFICIAL SIX-MONTH COUNT: 142 pounds on June 8, 2005
As of 6/28/05: 144 pounds "I've lost a welterweight"
bash91
Merguez








Since: 2.1.02
From: Bossier City, LA

Since last post: 857 days
Last activity: 14 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.07
    Originally posted by messenoir
    My annoyance becomes greater because conservative radio seems to be entirely too happy to blast the media for hiding behind anonymous sources without ever telling us how much of the media uses anonymous sources. It seems to me like another empty scare tactic to get people riled up against the media.


How do you define media? If you mean the national press corps covering politics and international events than the answer is every single one of them, in one form or another. It may be in the form of a background briefing. It may be "a senior administration official" or "sources in the State Department", to use two examples lifted from Associated Press bylines in our local Sunday paper, but they are all doing it.

If you mean more local media, than I'd suspect the number is quite low. I know our local paper won't run an anonymously sourced story without REALLY good support for the material provided anonymously and the policies were similar at the papers in the last two cities in which I lived.

While I don't want to turn this into a partisan issue because I think it is a bigger issue than that, I certainly have to challenge the assertion that this is being used as a scare tactic by conservative radio. Serious journalists have been critiquing anonymous sources for years. For examples, see Jack Shafer's articles on "anonymice" here (slate.msn.com), here (slate.msn.com), here (slate.msn.com), here (slate.msn.com), and here (slate.msn.com). Or, you can look at some of Jay Rosen's thoughts here (journalism.nyu.edu) and here (journalism.nyu.edu). I'd link you to Daniel Okrent's thoughts from his tenure as an editor at The New York Times but they are hidden in the pay section and Howard Kurtz's, the media critic for the Washington Post, don't seem to be readily available on line but they echo the assertions of Shafer and Rosen. As I recall, and I don't feel like wading through the archives at Kos and Media Matters to confirm my hazy recollection, many of the same allegations were leveled from the left in regards to Judith Miller's reliance on anonymous sources in her coverage of the run-up to the Iraq war.

Realistically, anonymous sources seem to be a fact of life for national journalists but it also seems like too many journalists are using anonymous sources as a means of bragging rather than as a means of presenting information that might otherwise not be presented. In that circumstance, I don't see a problem with criticizing journalists for relying on anonymous sources. For that matter, I don't see a problem with criticizing the use of anonymous sources in general, but your mileage might vary.

Tim



Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. -- Erasmus
Cerebus
Scrapple








Since: 17.11.02

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.47
If we throw journalists in jail for not divulging their anonymous sources why don't we throw priests in jail for not telling who admits to crimes?

Obviously, I'm not a very religious type person, but I don't really see much of a difference here.



Cerebus: RIP 1977-2004.

"What do you think it's like being created by a manic-depressive, paranoid schizophrenic, hypochondriac, misogynist with delusions of grandeur and a messiah complex?"
JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.54
    Originally posted by Cerebus
    If we throw journalists in jail for not divulging their anonymous sources why don't we throw priests in jail for not telling who admits to crimes?


Absolutely. Reporter, teacher, priest, mother, father, sister, brother...doesn't matter. Knowing about a crime and withholding information IS a crime, is it not?



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Well, I believe there are laws regarding lawyers protecting attorney client privelege, and also for clergy to not divulge. I believe that the press has attempted to exercise this privelege without having it in law, which is what the problem is.

Historically, I don't believe this kind of behavior has always resulted in jail time for journalists. The judge can ignore the wrongdoing at their own discretion, I believe.



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 165 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
    Originally posted by Cerebus
    If we throw journalists in jail for not divulging their anonymous sources why don't we throw priests in jail for not telling who admits to crimes?


How could anyone possibly know the priest was told about the crime? If you could prove the priest knew about the crime, then you wouldn't need to ask him to break the seal of confession. It's not like priests advertise the things they hear in confession.

Still, not all states have laws protecting clergy; Texas is one example. Jim Mattox, a former Texas state Attorney General, once threatened to go after clergy who don't divulge crimes confessed to them. Regardless, that'd be a politically foolish thing to do. And, as I pointed out above, I don't see how you could prove the charge.




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DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 16 days
Last activity: 1 day
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.99
To answer the quwtion re sources. Many will speak off the record or on deep background. As a reporter my wife is given anonymous info by government officials all the time. The difference is that where she works they won't go with that but use it to try and get to the truth. ALso they require two sources at a minimum for confirmation.


To assume that anonymous sources are that way becasue they are all hiding crimes is ridiculous, many do it to protect their jobs or avoid heat of telling what the powers that be don't want to be made known.



Perception is reality
Eddie Famous
Andouille








Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 5 hours
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.17

    Originally posted by DrDirt
    To assume that anonymous sources are that way becasue they are all hiding crimes is ridiculous, many do it to protect their jobs or avoid heat of telling what the powers that be don't want to be made known.


    Originally posted by Eddie Famous
    When journalists use anonymous sources involved in a crime and do not divulge them to law enforcement, they are accessories to crimes. They are aiding someone trying to elude capture.


Not the same thing at all.




As of 2/28/05: 101 pounds since December 7, 2004
OFFICIAL THREE-MONTH COUNT: 112 pounds on March 9, 2005
OFFICIAL SIX-MONTH COUNT: 142 pounds on June 8, 2005
As of 6/28/05: 144 pounds "I've lost a welterweight"
messenoir
Summer sausage








Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.68
OK, answer me this question. I want a statistical comparison between how many journalists abed criminals by using anonymous sources and how journalists are able to stop crimes because people afraid for their jobs can report criminal activities to the reporters anonymously.

Because your drive to stop the former is going to prevent the latter from happening.



Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Eddie Famous
Andouille








Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 5 hours
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.17

    Originally posted by messenoir
    OK, answer me this question. I want a statistical comparison between how many journalists abed criminals by using anonymous sources and how journalists are able to stop crimes because people afraid for their jobs can report criminal activities to the reporters anonymously.

    Because your drive to stop the former is going to prevent the latter from happening.


No, because you are comparing apples and oranges. Your arguement, isn't.



As of 2/28/05: 101 pounds since December 7, 2004
OFFICIAL THREE-MONTH COUNT: 112 pounds on March 9, 2005
OFFICIAL SIX-MONTH COUNT: 142 pounds on June 8, 2005
As of 7/11/05: 147 pounds "I've lost a welterweight"
Big Bad
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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.75
First amendment discussions aside, can we start debating what's going to happen to Karl Rove over this (if anything)?



"You can look the other way once, and it's no big deal, except it makes it easier for you to compromise the next time, and pretty soon that's all your doing; compromising, because that's the way you think things are done. You know those guys I busted? You think they were the bad guys? Because they weren't, they weren't bad guys, they were just like you and me. Except they compromised... Once." -- Jack Bauer
Cerebus
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Since: 17.11.02

Since last post: 1 day
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.44
    Originally posted by Big Bad
    First amendment discussions aside, can we start debating what's going to happen to Karl Rove over this (if anything)?


Rove should do jail time for what he did. Isn't outing CIA operatives a capital offense? How can these people be defending him the way they are, it's sickening really...



Cerebus: RIP 1977-2004.

"What do you think it's like being created by a manic-depressive, paranoid schizophrenic, hypochondriac, misogynist with delusions of grandeur and a messiah complex?"
Eddie Famous
Andouille








Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 5 hours
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.17

    Originally posted by Cerebus
    Rove should do jail time for what he did. Isn't outing CIA operatives a capital offense? How can these people be defending him the way they are, it's sickening really...


I agree with you 100% here. It's competely inexcuseable.



As of 2/28/05: 101 pounds since December 7, 2004
OFFICIAL THREE-MONTH COUNT: 112 pounds on March 9, 2005
OFFICIAL SIX-MONTH COUNT: 142 pounds on June 8, 2005
As of 7/11/05: 147 pounds "I've lost a welterweight"
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