By: E&P Staff
An editorial in Monday’s The New York Times demanded that its reporter, Judith Miller, be set free after spending the last 41 days in jail.
“If she is not willing to testify after 41 days, then she is not willing to testify,” the editorial said, noting that this was the longest time any Times reporter has ever spent in jail on such cause. “It’s time for the judge and the prosecutor to let Ms. Miller go.”
The paper labeled her mission as attempting to “safeguard the freedom of the press to do its job effectively,” although some have questioned whether this is really at the heart of the matter.
“It is true that some journalists have abused and overused unnamed sources over the years,” the editorial continued. “But in the main, the secret source is not a convenience for the news media or a shortcut for an easy story. He or she is the backbone of a free and independent press. Think about the civil servant who sees a superior lying and breaking the law. Think about the employee who sees a manager whitewashing a report on a hazardous product.”
The editorial, however, did not add, as some are sure to point out: Think about a top government official leaking the name of a secret CIA operative.