Wednesday, July 06, 2005

BBC finally corrects itself

The BBC finally did a story today on the Valerie Plame investigation without asserting as undisputed fact that the leak of her employment with the CIA was a federal crime. As I have already noted, every other time it has written on this story it has casually claimed that the leak was a criminal act, a "fact" which is in much doubt.

Three cheers for the BBC for finally getting it right on this story. (Although it still has not mentioned the hysterical role the New York Times itself played in calling for the very investigation that it now thinks is unjustified.)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Mark said...

NYT reporter Judith Miller went to jail today. The Time Magazine reporter got off the hook. His source released him of his promise to stay silent. Incidentally, Miller's source also released her of her promise, but she refused to reveal the source anyway, on principle. So she only has herself to blame for where she is now.

The law that applies here has been on the books for eons. Basically it recognizes that reporters are ordinary witnesses. They have no special protection under the law, not even from the First Amendment which protects the press from state censorship. Basically they have the right to write whatever they find out about, but they cannot hold their information confidential when subpoenaed to appear in court, or appear before a grand jury, in this case.

The reason Miller is in jail is she was found in contempt of a court order to testify. Unfortunately this is having shades of the Martha Stewart case. It's increasingly looking like there was no crime involved in the leaking of the CIA agent's name, but someone's being sent to jail anyway due to a violation of some law which occurred in the course of the investigation.

6:49 AM  

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