Piling on the invective against Donald Trump, an op-ed in the New York Times this week castigated him as a “lawless president”. The business tycoon-turned politician has already been roundly condemned in the US media as a traitor, stooge, buffoon and much more. Now the Times has marked him down as “lawless”.
Nearly two months after NATO warplanes ended their bombing campaign in Libya, the New York Times has now published “an investigation” by its staff writers that purports to show that “civilians were killed in several distinct attacks” . The so-called “paper of record” goes on to say in its article published 17 December that it has found evidence that the “air campaign was not as flawless as NATO has described” – nor, it should be added, as the New York Times itself tended to report at the time of the atrocities.
Should the news media be patriotic? When a journalist uncovers a government secret, which comes first–national security or the public’s right to know?
In the United States, reporters consider themselves Americans first, journalists second. That means consulting the government before going public with a state secret. “When I was at ABC,” James Bamford told Time in 2006, “we always checked with the Administration in power when we thought we had something of concern, and there was usually some way to work it out.” Continue reading