FRIDAY’S LINKS: Could Reporters Take the 5th to Protect Sources?, Trusting Bill Keller, Filkins Channels Ernie Pyle

By: E&P Staff

In today’s edition, Slate’s Jack Shafer asks whether Americans really trust President George W. Bush or New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller more, Paul McLeary praises Timesman Dexter Filkins for his Iraq coverage, and Katrina vanden Heuvel exhumes the story of the magazine’s involvement in withholding information before the Bay of pigs invasion.


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It’s a Classified War
PressThink: “The institutional press, its fourth estate identity, and what Ben Bradlee called a ‘holy profession’ (because ‘the pursuit of truth is a holy pursuit’) — these are all modern inventions,” writes Jay Rosen. “Their legitimacy derives not from the founding fathers but from the opinion of living Americans.”


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‘Nation’ and ‘NY Times’: Bay of Pigs Deja Vu
The Nation: “Never has the need for a free and independent press been greater. Never has the need for news outlets to inform the public about government abuse and wrongdoing been greater,” writes Katrina vanden Heuvel. “The Bush Administration is dedicated to sabotaging the workings of a free press — a cornerstone of a true democracy.”


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Bush or Keller: Who Do You Trust?
Slate: “Gauging from the White House’s fury, I suspect that it either failed to make a plausible case for keeping the program secret or didn’t want to make a case,” writes Jack Shafer. “If the administration failed to make the case, my guess is that it’s opted to mask its failure by fouling relations with the press. If it didn’t want to make the case, its petulance would be understandable if not forgivable. The press has been running the table against the administration when it comes to publishing stories about classified programs.”


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Cleveland Papers Expect Subpoenas Over Leaks
The Cleveland Free Times: In Northeast Ohio, we’ve had our own case involving confidential sources and the press simmering quietly on a back burner for nearly a year. But all indications are that it could well explode into the headlines before the end of this year, with subpoenas issued to media outlets, which will no doubt vigorously contest them


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The Silent Mastermind
Chicago Reader: “Jack Fuller was the ‘architect’ of the Tribune Company’s disastrous acquisition of Times Mirror,” writes Michael Miner. “Fuller told me he?s decided to say nothing to anyone, including Tribune reporters, about Unterman and the Times Mirror deal. I told him that back at the paper his reputation has taken a beating. ‘It is what it is,’ he said.”


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Could Reporters Take the 5th to Protect Sources?
Slate: “Journalists have been so mired in the debate about the First Amendment protections they lack, that they have overlooked the protections the rest of the Constitution might afford,” writes Peter Scheer. “Because if the First Amendment can no longer be counted upon to keep reporters out of jail, invoking the Fifth Amendment privilege — refusing to disclose the name of a confidential source because doing so could be self-incriminating — may well succeed in protecting both the source and the reporter.”


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Philly ‘Daily News’ Ed. Page Editor Leaves For Jersey
Philadelphia Weekly: The paper’s editorial page editor Frank Burgos is leaving the position to become managing editor of The Record in Bergen County. “Throughout his tenure here, he has been a proponent and enthusiastic steward for an editorial page that is provocative, interesting and a champion of the people,” said a statement from the paper.


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Reviving the Spirit of Ernie Pyle
CJR Daily: “Every now and again, however, a reporter goes out into the field and is turned loose by editors to really let fly,” writes Paul McLeary. “Although it came fast and furious during the early days of the war, this type of reporting has become increasingly rare as the conflict has dragged on. One of the best at this type of reporting is the New York Times’ Dexter Filkins, and his dispatches from Ramadi over the past few days have been filled with the kind of on-the-spot reporting that we’ve been sorely missing — in this case, about the Marines currently doing the fighting, and dying, in Iraq.”

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