On Media Leaks: Accountable Parties Should Answer to Public, Not to Stockholders

I see from Technorati’s data that 99 bloggers already have commented on the March 5 page one Washington Post story by Dan Eggen on national security leaks.

I choose to draw attention to this short section of the piece:

Leonard Downie Jr., executive editor of The [Washington] Post, said there has long been a “natural and healthy tension between government and the media” on national security issues, but that he is “concerned” about comments by [CIA Director Porter] Goss and others that appear to reflect a more aggressive stance by the government. Downie noted that The Post had at times honored government requests not to report particularly sensitive information, such as the location of CIA prisons in Eastern Europe.”We do not want to inadvertently threaten human life or legitimately harm national security in our reporting,” he said. “But it’s important… in our constitutional system that these final decisions be made by newspaper editors and not the government.”

I disagree. The public elects the leaders of our government; it does not elect the editor of the Washington Post. Accountable parties must answer to the public, not to stockholders.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.