Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Views of the News, Aug. 19, 2009

Remembering the self-styled "Prince of Darkness," Robert Novak ... media coverage of health care initiative protests ... and, did a state agency cover up information about bacteria in the Lake of the Ozarks? Panelists: Mike McKean, Charles Davis, Lee Wilkins.

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1 comment:

Locke said...

I was only able to listen for a moment last night, when you were discussing Robert Novak, but 2 things were said that made my blood boil. First, the panelists seemed to denigrate the importance of the Valerie Plame "outing" because it did not put her in danger. It did put the sources she ran as an intelligence officer, as well as uninvolved parties she may have incidentally contacted as part of her cover, at risk of professional and personal suspicion and retaliation that may have gotten some of them killed or tortured. It also made it harder for any other field officer to develop sources if they will not be safeguarded. This puts US interests and security at risk.

Second, because Robert Novak identified himself and Richard Armitage as the source of the leak early on, the Special Prosecutor was faulted for continuing to investigate. When you are investigating the leaking of classified data, you do not stop investigating the first time someone offers themselves up as a sacrificial lamb - especially if there would be little or no risk or price to be paid by serving as a scapegoat. You actually complete a thorough investigation, look for corroboration and/or contradiction, and put all the evidence together. You don't just declare victory and pat yourself on the back. Is this the same standard you woul apply to a journalistic investigation? I hope not.