Another Strike Against Judith Miller


From the reviled reporter's Senate testimony yesterday regarding a proposed federal journalist shield:

The leakers in the Balco case in San Francisco violated grand jury secrecy rules or laws, but their information about steroid use in professional baseball gave Congress the facts and impetus to start hearings and make needed reforms.

She's battling performance-enhancing drugs of mass destruction, too?

I was drawing the crucial Miller/BALCO parallel way back in March. By demanding that a Grand Jury be convened to do something, and then trumpeting their publishing of (usually illegal) leaks from that Grand Jury as a great public service because it allowed Congress to do something, journalists are increasing the likelihood that they, and also normal, non-journalistic humans, will be compelled on threat of jail to testify lawyer-free before a prosecutor mostly unconstrained by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. And now, Congress and too many professional journalists want to carve out an exemption for themselves that does not include other Americans, let alone people who do journalism for love or obsession instead of a paycheck. As ever, Miller makes a lousy poster child for journalistic exceptionalism.

I hope on principle that Libby and the lot of 'em suffer agonizing and protracted public humiliation, and worse. And I hope there returns a day in this country when we all don't face potential jail time for the mere act of remaining silent. (Link via David Ehrenstein.)