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Friday, December 30, 2005

Journalists Should Expose Secrets, Not Keep Them

Published on Thursday, December 29, 2005 by CommonDreams.org 
by Norman Solomon 
Journalists should be in the business of providing timely information to the public. But some -- notably at the top rungs of the profession -- have become players in the power games of the nation's capital. And more than a few seem glad to imitate the officeholders who want to decide what the public shouldn't know.
 
When the New York Times front page broke the story of the National Security Agency's domestic spying, the newspaper's editors had good reason to feel proud. Or so it seemed. But there was a troubling backstory: The Times had kept the scoop under wraps for a long time.
 
The White House did what it could -- including, as a last-ditch move, an early December presidential meeting that brought Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office -- in its efforts to persuade the Times not to report the story. The good news is that those efforts ultimately failed. The bad news is that they were successful for more than a year.
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