This is a discussion on Do journalists care about your privacy if you aren't a terrorist? - SpamAssassin ; This ought to be considered a crime story, but the Associated Press treats it as something else: Hackers broke into the Yahoo! e-mail account that Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin used for official business as Alaska's governor, revealing as ...
This ought to be considered a crime story, but the Associated Press treats it
as something else:
Hackers broke into the Yahoo! e-mail account that Republican
vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin used for official
business as Alaska's governor, revealing as evidence a few
inconsequential personal messages she has received since
John McCain selected her as his running mate.
"This is a shocking invasion of the governor's privacy and
a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the
appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession
of these e-mails will destroy them," the McCain campaign said
in a statement.
The Secret Service contacted The Associated Press on
Wednesday and asked for copies of the leaked e-mails, which
circulated widely on the Internet. The AP did not comply.
The disclosure Wednesday raises new questions about the
propriety of the Palin administration's use of nongovernment
e-mail accounts to conduct state business.
Let's step back for a moment and consider what this says about the press's
attitude toward privacy. A few years ago, the New York Times revealed the
existence of the Terrorist Surveillance Program, a theretofore-secret effort
to prevent attacks by listening in on overseas terrorists' phone
conversations. In defense of the Times's action, we heard a lot of pious
proclamations about privacy: George Bush might want to snoop on _your_ phone
conversations or emails, and the press was merely being vigilant in protecting
Yet the AP, in reporting on its own role in the current story, tells us that
it refuses to cooperate with the Secret Service's investigation of the privacy
breach. Granted, the AP probably doesn't have that much to contribute to the
investigation. But the symbolism is telling, and surely deliberate. It
suggests the press places a far lower premium on privacy than on its own
privileges and its adversarial attitude toward government (or perhaps toward
Especially telling in this regard is the AP's reference to the emails as
"leaked." (The Boston Globe uses the verb _leak_ in its headline for the AP
report.) Usually this term refers to a government agency or other
organization's failure to keep a secret. A leaker is someone who is authorized
to possess information but not to disclose it.
These emails were not leaked, they were stolen. Here we have an actual
invasion of an American citizen's privacy, and what is the press's attitude?
If the AP is representative (and given its organizational structure, it should
be), it is to regard "questions about the propriety" of the _victim_ as more
important than the invasion of privacy itself.
It is simply breathtaking to watch the glee and abandon with which
the liberal media and the Angry Left have been attempting to turn
our military victory in Iraq into a second Vietnam quagmire. Too bad
for them, it's failing.