From Editor & Publisher, July 5, 2005
By Bill Israel
In 99.9 percent of cases I know, journalists must not break the bonds of appropriate confidentiality, to protect their ability to report, and to defend the First Amendment. I’ve testified in court to that end, and would do so again.
But the Valerie Plame-CIA case that threatens jail time for reporters from Time and The New York Times this week is the exception that shatters the rule. In this case, journalists as a community have been played for patsies by the president’s chief strategist, Karl Rove, and are enabling him to abuse the First Amendment, by their invoking it.
To understand why this case is exceptional, one must grasp the extent of Rove’s political mastery, which became clearer to me by working with him. When we taught “Politics and the Press