But I'm giving it up until this AP 'scandal' is over and done with.
Because now comes word that ABC was played like a fiddle by a bunch of GOP Congressional staffers, and is ABC burning those sources?
Not on your Nellie.
As Pierce asks: "Who do you really serve? The country, or the liars in your BlackBerries?"
The whole basis of the "sanctity" of the protection of the press under the 1st Amendment is that the press is the "fourth estate" which serves the public interest by keeping an eye on the other three estates of government.
And the argument now is the DOJ has damaged the AP's ability to conduct business (don't take my word for it, consult kindly Dr. Maddow) because who is going to call the AP with a hot tip if they think the phone records are gonna be searched? How, in other words, can the Fourth Estate function if it is going to be so hobbled?
Pardon me if I don't weep for AP in this circumstance. Let's say I'm a practicing lawyer and the DOJ decides I may be involved in a criminal investigation and they get my phone records. Lawyers, like most modern professionals, live on their telephones. If word gets out the DOJ is checking mine, how many clients might decide not to call me just because they don't want the DOJ seeing their number and wondering why they called me? Do I have a 1st Amendment protection?
No. Do I get people to go on cable TeeVee everynight, weeping and wailing about what this does to the 1st Amendment or my ability to do business?
And where I might be sympathetic with such arguments, in light of ABC getting burned very badly, and apparently deciding access is STILL more important than the public need to know who's lying to us, I offer the whiners about the AP records search a nice cup of STFU.
'Cause nobody's above the law, and the 1st Amendment doesn't give the press any more privileges than the 2nd Amendment gives gun owners.
*Besides, as Lucy Dalglish at the journalism school at University of Maryland, College Park, told NPR this morning:
"Technology is not your friend."There; was that so hard?
"If you have a source that you need to protect, stay off the Internet, stay off the phone, don't use your credit card," she explains.
Instead, she says, talk to your sources like spies do on TV — on a park bench, face to face.