"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Monday, July 11, 2005


Doug Clifton, editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, complains that his paper is spiking two stories of "profound importance" because in our post Judith "Jailbird" Miller world, the paper would "almost certainly be found culpable" for publishing stories based on illegally leaked documents.


I can state without fear of contradiction that Clifton's claims are ridiculous, because as a former resident of Cleveland I can attest that the Pee Dee hasn't published two stories of "profound importance" in the past three decades. The odds of their doing so now are beyond astronomical.

And dig this:
"The reporters say, 'Well, we're willing to go to jail, and I'm willing to go to jail if it gets laid on me,'" Clifton added, "but the newspaper isn't willing to go to jail. That's what the lawyers have told us. So this is a Time Inc. sort of situation."

So, the reporters involved are willing to assume the (negligible) risk of incarceration, but "the newspaper isn't willing to go to jail." Earth to Clifton: Newspapers can't be jailed. But if they could, the Plain Dealer could be locked away for a long, long time before anyone noticed.




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