Saturday, January 02, 2010


Bloggers: Grow a pair!

Blogger caves to TSA.


With all due respect, with no legal protection, and in the context in which it occurred, I would have done exactly the same thing. Sorry, but there is no "right" for me under any circumstance, to not answer a question as long as the answer does not incriminate me. Beyond that, they want my sources, I have no legal recourse so I'll give it to 'em. If some journalist wants to call me cowardly, well I've been called worse by better.

A moral victory is difficult to celebrate in a jail cell while my wife tries to figure out how to get our kids back from DCFS and make the car payments without my income.
Then you, or the blogger, probably ought not be posting government documents procured under shady circumstances. People gonna act like journalists, they oughta act like journalists. IMHO.
Well, I agree with that. You pay your money you takes your choice, as a prof of mine as an undergrad used to say. Personally, I'm not all that "het up" about confidential sources anyway. The whole thing has become abused, a way for mid-level bureaucrats to take pot shots at folks higher up by getting their snarky opinions printed as "some people are of the opinion" and other such journalistic sets-up.

Were I given a piece of confidential, or even classified information, I would not only NOT use it as a source for a blog post, I would hand it over immediately (although I might sneak a peek at it first). Precisely for the reason you mention.
Depending on the nature and the document, I'd either use it myself or get it in the hands of someone who could/would. The Pentagon Papers were purloined.

dude... journalism ethics 101. deepthroat wasn't revealed under the FBI and CIA's draconian threats to not only Woodward and Bernstein but to the Washington Post as a whole institution.

press is protected. this is why i'd never reveal classified stuff to an untrained blogger and have my reservations in today's media as well after their bang up job investigating the claims of the government post 9-11.

standards ppl... standards!
Well personally I never blog something that doesn't originate from an open source. Trouble is I use my experience and training often to analyse and interpret the data I gather. Occasionally I hit the target.

Back in the dark ages ER we were taught "Interpretive" journalism.
Not to mention that the Government has spent enormous sums on my training as ancient as it is.

But then there is the problem that as far as sources and classified information I have already literally signed my soul over to the Feds.

But until you have experience the thrill of two FBI agents visiting you at home or work (even if it is a routine-benign visit) you don't really know what it feel like. Kids, well kids also make all the difference.

Cut the guy some slack.
Here's the slack: Don't post documents obtained under shady circumstances unless you're prepared to protect your source. That's the only slack I can give.
Ah, certainty and professionalism.

Of course blogging isn't a protected activity so what kind of fool would tell any blogger anything "classified" unless they have covered their trail (i.e. used a dead-end address such as a wifi from a business without surveillance cameras and a clean-unregistered computer and software), or they want to be found but not right away.

Now the truth is most of us have no reason to fear this type of thing, at least from our blogging.

Although I have had some of my readers say to my face that they don't post on my blog for fear of being associated with me. That's a hoot really. Every friggin word on every friggin blog world wide is read at Big Daddy by a computer program.
What happens after that depends on how many of those magic words you used and how you smell.
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