Award-winning leaking of wartime secrets

One of the methods used by the American left to legitimize its questionable practices is the bestowing of prestigious—sounding awards. The overwhelming leftist dominance on elite campuses enables a vast panoply of impressive—sounding placques to be handed out like Halloween candy to eager lefties in a variety of fields. Awardees then have a nice item to put on their resumes, as they vie for better jobs in their chosen fields.

In no field is this more true than journalism. Most press awards, from the Pulitzers (administered by Columbia University) on down, are highly politicized. The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government has just bestowed http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/presspol/ its Goldsmith Prize to Eric Lichtbau and James Risen of the New York Times, for their revealing of classified information about the NSA's surveillance of international telephone class involving American residents on one end of the conversation — usually mischaracterized as "domestic spying" by partisans.

Although the press release put out by the Center refers to the NSA program as "systematically tapping into international telephone calls and e—mail traffic in the U.S. without court warrants," [emphasis added], the Center's director Alex Jones (a former NYT reporter and author of a largely laudatory book on the Sulzberger family's management of the Times) went for partisan inaccuracy and stated:

"The judges felt that, in a field of hugely important investigations, the revelation of systematic domestic spying by the government was the most important,' said Alex Jones, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. 'They wanted to send a message that this kind of reporting is essential to our democracy.'  [emphasis added]

Leaving aside the possibility of criminal liability for the wartime leaking of classified data of assistance to the enemy, shouldn't a supposed paragon of journalistic practice be just a teensy bit more careful in characterizing that which he awards? Do we call a flight from Hamburg to New York an "international flight" or a "domestic flight"? How about surveillance of a telephone call from Hamburg to New York?

This award smells.

Hat tip: Larwyn

Thomas Lifson   3 16 06

One of the methods used by the American left to legitimize its questionable practices is the bestowing of prestigious—sounding awards. The overwhelming leftist dominance on elite campuses enables a vast panoply of impressive—sounding placques to be handed out like Halloween candy to eager lefties in a variety of fields. Awardees then have a nice item to put on their resumes, as they vie for better jobs in their chosen fields.

In no field is this more true than journalism. Most press awards, from the Pulitzers (administered by Columbia University) on down, are highly politicized. The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government has just bestowed http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/presspol/ its Goldsmith Prize to Eric Lichtbau and James Risen of the New York Times, for their revealing of classified information about the NSA's surveillance of international telephone class involving American residents on one end of the conversation — usually mischaracterized as "domestic spying" by partisans.

Although the press release put out by the Center refers to the NSA program as "systematically tapping into international telephone calls and e—mail traffic in the U.S. without court warrants," [emphasis added], the Center's director Alex Jones (a former NYT reporter and author of a largely laudatory book on the Sulzberger family's management of the Times) went for partisan inaccuracy and stated:

"The judges felt that, in a field of hugely important investigations, the revelation of systematic domestic spying by the government was the most important,' said Alex Jones, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. 'They wanted to send a message that this kind of reporting is essential to our democracy.'  [emphasis added]

Leaving aside the possibility of criminal liability for the wartime leaking of classified data of assistance to the enemy, shouldn't a supposed paragon of journalistic practice be just a teensy bit more careful in characterizing that which he awards? Do we call a flight from Hamburg to New York an "international flight" or a "domestic flight"? How about surveillance of a telephone call from Hamburg to New York?

This award smells.

Hat tip: Larwyn

Thomas Lifson   3 16 06