Paul Greenberg looks at the principles and equities regarding the jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller. My view is that it’s possible for both sides (the reporter and the prosecutor) to act honorably, and still to end up in the fortunate place that we are. It can be honorable for reporters, having promised sources anonymity, to keep the promise even when that means violating a court order. And it is honorable for prosecutors vigorously to pursue the truth in their investigations, even to the point of forcing reporters to choose between disclosure and prison time, if the need for the information justifies going that far.
In the Rove case, I don’t think we know enough yet to reach an informed judgment as to whether the actions of Miller and Fitzgerald are honorable and/or appropriate. But that isn’t stopping many people.
ROCKET adds: I think Paul meant to say “unfortunate,” but I kind of like it the way it is.
PAUL responds: Yes “unfortunate.” Having served jail time for non-violent protest activity, I can say, at a minimum, that Miller is in an unfortunate place.
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