The New York Times Bill Keller responds in his papers defense, in a two page letter to readers that stirs up things even more.
Freedom of the press is a very important right, and it is one most feel should be vigorously preserved. But all rights have reciprocal responsibilities for those they protect.
It is fair to say, given the fact that the government objected and the papers published anyway, that right was acknowledged on the one side. However, it isn't as clear that the press itself exercised it's responsibility properly or responsibly. As one commenter asked, who gave Bill Keller the right to unilaterally decide based on 'the public's right to know' when it was appropriate to disclose national secrets?
BILL KELLER ISN'T VERY BRIGHT, or else he thinks you aren't. How else to explain this passage in his apologia for the Times' publication of classified information about the terrorist financial surveillance program:
Some of the incoming mail quotes the angry words of conservative bloggers and TV or radio pundits who say that drawing attention to the government's anti-terror measures is unpatriotic and dangerous. (I could ask, if that's the case, why they are drawing so much attention to the story themselves by yelling about it on the airwaves and the Internet.)
I realize that the Times' circulation is falling at an alarming rate, but it hasn't yet reached such a pass that its stories are only noticed when Rush Limbaugh mentions them.
A deeper error is Keller's characterization of freedom of the press as an institutional privilege, an error that is a manifestation of the hubris that has marked the NYT of late.
Instapundit: Bill Keller isn't very bright.
Follow the links in Glenn's piece to more writing on the subject.
***UPDATE - 9AM***
The L.A. Times, on top of the firestorm caused by their participation in the leak outrage, has much bigger problems to worry about:
The Times does an outragous "HIT" piece in which the editors of the Los Angeles Times EAT their own, and blame the "right wing" Chandlers ( The Clan that ran the paper for decades, and has membrs on the Board of the current owner, the Tribune Co.. ).
Today, Jeffrey Chandler, 64, is at the center of power within the Chandler family, which sold Times Mirror six years ago to Tribune Co. of Chicago. As one of three family representatives on the Tribune board, he is a key player in the Chandlers’ fight to force the sale or breakup of the giant media company and could ultimately help determine the future of the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, Newsday, KTLA-TV and other Tribune properties.
Fellow Bear Flagger, Fullosseousflap, writes:
This is an interesting piece indeed from the editors of the Los Angeles Times.
If the Tribune Company does not clean house (FIRE the Los Angeles Times Senior Editors and Publisher) then Flap is sure the Chandler family will.
Go here for the link to the Times piece, and more -- Los Angeles Times Watch: Conservative Members of Chandler Family “HIT” by Los Angeles Times Editors.
***UPDATE - NOON***
THE PREZ WAGS HIS FINGER AT THE NEW YORK TIMES for publishing classified material: Gateway Pundit has a nice, informative, roundup.
A Tip of the Hat to Instapundit, who has 3 more related links.