Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Dumb Assault on Good Reporters

I was a lonely defender of Judith Miller back when she was under politically motivated attack -- though I backed off when she published a confused, phony defense of her position. But the subpoena yesterday of two reporters for Dow Jones by the Securities and Exchange Commission gives me no misgivings whastsoever. This is a clear case of intimidation of two tough reporters and I hope my conservative friends join me in calling for the SEC to back off.

What makes this whole thing particularly weird is that it seems to have been instigated by one of the wackiest CEOs around today -- Patrick Byrne. A couple of weeks ago I took Byrne to task for his nutty comment that his private litigation was a "jihad." This New York Times column today on this jackass is on the mark. He is engaged in outright bullying of the press, targeting bastions of the liberal media as the New York Post and his arch-enemy, Dow Jones. Two reporters there have gotten under his skin, and apparently he was able to persuade the dopey SEC to go along.

As I have said repeatedly for many months, as I've excoriated the lousier practitioners of journalism, there are still a surprising number of good ones out there -- working at places like Dow Jones, and generally not on the political or foreign policy beat. Those of us who condemn the bad apples of the media should stand by the good ones when they are under attack.

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