Monday, June 26, 2006
Republicans Really Hate The Press
It really scares me when politicians start about prosecuting journalists.

WASHINGTON - The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee urged the Bush administration on Sunday to seek criminal charges against newspapers that reported on a secret financial-monitoring program used to trace terrorists.

Rep. Peter King cited The New York Times in particular for publishing a story last week that the Treasury Department was working with the CIA to examine messages within a massive international database of money-transfer records.

King, R-N.Y., said he would write Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urging that the nation's chief law enforcer "begin an investigation and prosecution of The New York Times — the reporters, the editors and the publisher."

"We're at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous," King told The Associated Press.

A message left Sunday with Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis was not immediately returned.

King's action was not endorsed by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, GOP Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

"On the basis of the newspaper article, I think it's premature to call for a prosecution of the New York Times, just like I think it's premature to say that the administration is entirely correct," Specter told "Fox News Sunday."

It really doesn’t matter if you agree with the NYT, or not. Once we hold the press criminally responsible for stories they post, we begin to allow politicians to do whatever they want, whenever they want. I mean, if no one will ever publish anything about politicians’ treacherous deeds out of fear of prosecution, why would they be worried about their actions? It is not the media’s job to decide if a hidden program ran by the government is legal, or not. The job of the press is to shine light on that program, so that others may gauge the legality of it. If there is a good reason to think that our government is doing something illegal, then it is the job of the press to report it.

With our government lacking oversight, due to Republican control, the media provides one of the few safeguards for us citizens.

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