Skip to comments.Cleveland's Plain Dealer: We're Holding Big Stories Because of Miller Jailing (RIIIIIIGHT...)
Posted on 07/09/2005 7:49:59 AM PDT by NathanBookman
CHICAGO Plain Dealer Editor Doug Clifton says the Cleveland daily is not reporting two major investigative stories of "profound importance" because they are based on illegally leaked documents -- and the paper fears the consequences faced now by jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller.
Lawyers for the Newhouse Newspapers-owned PD have concluded that the newspaper would almost certainly be found culpable if the leaks were investigated by authorities.
"They've said, this is a super, super high-risk endeavor, and you would, you know, you'd lose," Clifton said in an interview Friday afternoon.
"The reporters say, 'Well, we're willing to go to jail, and I'm willing to go to jail if it gets laid on me,'" Clifton added, "but the newspaper isn't willing to go to jail. That's what the lawyers have told us. So this is a Time Inc. sort of situation."
Both Miller and Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper faced jail on contempt charges for refusing to identify confidential sources, but Time agreed to hand over Cooper's subpoenaed notes when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the reporters' appeal. Cooper later agreed to testify to a grand jury, saying his source had given "express personal consent" to be identified.
Clifton declined to characterize the two stories, saying only they were based on material that was illegally leaked.
Clifton's revelation that the PD was holding two investigative projects was actually first published in a column he wrote June 30 about the Miller and Cooper case. While the column garnered positive reaction, he said, almost nobody picked up on the disclosure tucked into the end of the piece.
"As I write this, two stories of profound importance languish in our hands," Clifton wrote. "The public would be well served to know them, but both are based on documents leaked to us by people who would face deep trouble for having leaked them. Publishing the stories would almost certainly lead to a leak investigation and the ultimate choice: talk or go to jail. Because talking isn't an option and jail is too high a price to pay, these two stories will go untold for now. How many more are out there?"
Clifton said he wrote the column to show that "there are consequences" to the actions taken against Miller and Cooper by a federal judge and special prosecutor.
"Some people might argue that you're being chicken-shit," Clifton said. "Well, I, I can respect that," he said, his voice trailing off.
Clifton said the Miller-Cooper case has not presented any problem in its ongoing reporting of the biggest current scandal in Ohio, sometimes called "Coingate."
"So much of that we are pursuing unambiguously with public records," he said. "We've had to rely very little on anonymous sources."
The scandal, first reported by The Blade in Toledo, revolves around a rare-coin dealer who was given authority to invest $50 million in state money in rare coins and other collectibles. Gold coins valued at $300,000 that were part of that investment were lost in the mail, the Blade reported. It later came out that millions of dollars in the fund cannot be accounted for.
Good. There are some "stories" that don't need to be published. The world will somehow manage to keep turning.
The funny thing is that any paper that sees itself in a competitive situation would not do any such thing. Clearly the Plain Dealer does not think that it competes against anything.
Where is it written in the First Amendment that a "Free Press" gets to break the law.
That's it. We are all doomed it tell you; DOOM-ED!!!
They admit that they were using "illegal sources"???? I guess that means that they are also admitting that Miller's and Cooper's sources were illegal? Rove could not be considered an illegal source, only the information could be considered illegal, although in this case, it has been pretty much determined that revealing that Wilson was recommended by his wife, a CIA employee, was not illegal.
IOW one of these journalists of "integrity" lied to the grand jury about who their source was, if they even had one.
Perhaps that is the difference, would the leakers be facing "deep trouble" but still have whistleblower protection or would they be breaking the law in a serious way like outing a CIA agent?
Exactly. In fact the Feds should now investigate the Cleveland Plain Dealer and their source since they have already admitted to having illegally leaked documents!!!
Yeah..who knew :)
Exactly. Freedom of the Press means that the government won't interfere with what you write, will not limit what you say. It does not mean that under the banner of 'journalist' you get extra protection and different laws. Sorry, no dice.
In other words, more anti-American and anti-Bush stories that are fake and cannot possibly be proven.
This logic astounds me. Miller never published either and she is in jail. How does he think not publishing a story protects the paper?
I always thought that anything obtained illegally could not be used as evidence. I wonder how long it will be before media outlets start complaining about activist courts that allow such things to happen.
"if they even had one"
I'm with you, the more I hear about the big "plame outing", I am convinced that her "secret" identity was not secret at all. Cooper and Miller probably heard the rumor at a cocktail party somewhere. But to make news out of it, they had to pretend there was a credible anonymous source, not just speculation over rumors at a cocktail party.
Now they can't identify the source because the source was invented out of thin air.
The other theroy is that Plame outted herself to Miller and Cooper in some sort of twisted, post-partum ego-trip. (see Vanity Fair layout)
So, these left-wing scum are saying that protecting the identity of the guy who stole these documents and gave them to the paper is more important than the public's right to learn about the issues involved? How about if he was a conservative white Christian?
The two stories being witheld are, Dennis Kucinich is being married for the third time to a space traveler, and George Voinivich is in the hospital having his bladder removed from his eyes! A Cleveland Plain Dealer puff piece, their circulation has fallen 5.1% last year.
Which means it's time for me to once again post the link to my favorite :30 spot:
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