WashPost columnist David Ignatius says it far more briefly than I did.
Bad Case for a Fight
By David Ignatius
Friday, July 8, 2005; Page A23
As a journalist, I’m angry that Judith Miller of the New York Times is in jail today for trying to protect a confidential source. But I am also angry that the press has allowed itself to be dragged into a no-win case that will weaken our ability to protect true whistle-blowers and thereby serve the public.
With the Valerie Plame leak investigation, the press has planted its flag on the least favorable ground to fight the larger battle for confidentiality. This is a case in which the sources weren’t disclosing wrongdoing by others but were allegedly doing wrong themselves by blowing the cover of a CIA officer. (Story.)
I’m not sure I have a lot to add, really. I have submitted something along these lines to Editor & Publisher, and we’ll see what they think. For the moment, though, much of the press establishment seems hellbent on making their stand at the bottom of an open valley….