There’s a new movie celebrating the Washington Post’s 1970s-era courage in its efforts to publish the Pentagon Papers – government secrets from the Vietnam war. It is, indeed, something journalists have always admired.
So what exactly has happened to the Post and to journalism?
Last week, despite its stated motto that “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” the Post actually argued against releasing the congressional memo that revealed blatant, frightening, partisan corruption inside the FBI. A Post editorial called the release “nothing but a hyperpartisan attempt to discredit (Special Counsel Robert) Mueller,” who is investigating the president.
And the Washington Post is hardly alone. A New York Times editorial blared that the memo was actually “The Republican Plot Against the F.B.I.”
Yes, absolutely. The Republican Party is a sworn enemy of law enforcement. What gibberish.
“Thanks to the battle over the memo, we also know with 100 percent certainty that the mainstream media is part of the swamp,” writes New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin.
The real discredit in this case has been to journalism itself. “Media’s longtime crusade for transparency ends,” lamented one headline.
“Discrediting law enforcement is the memo’s transparent purpose,” the Post wrote.
No. The purpose, which any beginning journalist would know, is to shine a light on the truth.
If the truth discredits some, then so be it.
It’s not a newspaper’s job to protect the guilty.