Comments Posted By Steve Morton
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You too JML! This is a model debate, I've learned something. I read and consider your comments even though we have a different take on things.


Comment Posted By Steve Morton On 8.07.2006 @ 07:02


I appreciate the debate and think it's a question worth very serious thought. History has shown that administrations on both sides of the aisle are willing to abuse information, and since administrations come and go, it is worth setting the bar at a level that protects our personal liberties without jeopardizing our safety and way of life.

I also believe, as you seem to, that a free press is indispensible, not only in terms of freedom of speech but also as a part of our checks and balances.

That is precisely why I find the NY Times' behavior to be so baffling. What civil (or other) liberties were being violated by our Swift program? Especially given the civil liberty-friendly nature of the program, why could the NYT not listen to the opinion of our elected officials, who had to have been more knowledgeable about the value of the intelligence? Was it really such a stretch to believe that the administration could not be trusted on this point?

And why, as others have pointed out, has the NYT not provided articles on Al Qaeda cells, as British papers have done? Why can the NYT expose a United States government program after months and years of looking, but cannot engage an arabic speaker to attend a few mosques and file a report?

And why, in its fervent defense of free speech, is the New York Times unwilling to publish the Danish cartoons? And if the New York Times is so interested in defending civil liberties, why in the world did it publish photos of Rumsfeld's house, including identifying the security camera in the front yard?

I'm sorry, but I don't trust the NY Times to make sound judgments of any sort, let alone the weighty decisions under discussion. The newspaper is failing its mission, and frankly it is well past the time for law enforcement (read: Department of Justice) to help shape the debate as to what the NYT can and cannot do.

Comment Posted By Steve Morton On 7.07.2006 @ 10:09

I agree with Rick Moran's comments in #17. Specifically, JML, freedom is a trade-off. I give up the right to break into your house and steal your plasma TV so that I gain the right to keep mine.

In this case, I gave up the right to know about a legal program in which wholesale offshore banking transactions were scrutinized for terrorist links? My goodness, will life ever be the same? Now, thanks to the NYT and LAT, that right has been restored, at who knows what cost.

I am interested in protecting my children's right not to be vaporized by a nuclear weapon smuggled into Times Square (no irony intended). I would like to hear from Nick Berg about his right to not have his head hacked off with a hunting knife, and videotaped and distributed for all to see, but he's dead. I guess he doesn't need rights or freedoms now.

But I digress. Karl Rove is monitoring me, and I have to get ready for work.

Comment Posted By Steve Morton On 6.07.2006 @ 07:07

Two responses to comments:

Rick on your comment #2, I agree that the Times will find ways to soldier on (forgive the irony), with the caveat that they are print media as well as content providers, the former being certainly in broad decline. I live in NYC, and everyone reads the Times, so I see no immediate bankruptcy. Over time, however, the paper will find it more difficult to fund pet projects and to field as many reporters as they do. Their influence may diminish, which would be something to celebrate.

On #13 Bill Arnold, there was never any way for this to stay "in the bag," my goodness it was on the front page of the New York Times!! The Administration essentially responded to a few questions from the press, so effectively it did exactly what you are suggesting. Both sides of Congress are working on resolutions, the blogs on both sides have been fired up, and the Times itself has printed a series of CYA articles on the subject.

The Times' Keller used this argument right out of the chute, that the Adminisration should have kept it quiet, but to my mind this is the most shameful of all his comments. He put it on the front page, for the entire world to see. It's like claiming that McDonald's is a little out-of-the-way hamburger joint.

Comment Posted By Steve Morton On 4.07.2006 @ 07:09

Indeed, the free market is a very useful tool. Look at the verdict: The stock of the New York Times has lost 43% of its value over the past two years, compared with an 18% loss of Dow Jones stock value (publisher of the Wall Street Journal). This is a huge, significant difference. The print media has suffered in general, but the Times is in a class of its own.

Comment Posted By Steve Morton On 3.07.2006 @ 09:35

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