Compare and contrast scandals
: Just for the fun of it, let’s compare and contrast two scandals:
: In the U.K., someone — Dr. David Kelly — had unauthorized and possibly illegal contact with the press regarding confidential, classified government information on weapons in Iraq. The government reveals his name. He kills himself. The government gets hell for it. Revealing the name of the person is considered a scandal.
: In the U.S., someone, unknown, had unauthorized and possibly illegal contact with the press regarding confidential, classified government information on a CIA agent’s identity. The government is under pressure to find and identify and prosecute the person. Not revealing the name of the person is considered a scandal.
: Sometimes when a story breaks, I take the calculated risk of ignoring it because I think it will go away and I’ll be no worse off. I did that with the Valerie Plame CIA story. And why? Because this is — on the scale I set forth the other day — useless news. It has no impact on my daily life. I can ignore it. So can most of America. And that should make us in the news business ask whether we overplay these stories.
Now here’s Ed Cone giving hell to Glenn Reynolds because he’s underplaying the Plame story. Glenn responds at Ed’s site and in a post I quote below. I side with Glenn on this both because he’s not a newspaper and he has no obligation to report or comment on every dutiful story; that would make him predictable and dull. But even if he were a newspaper, I’d still ask whether the story is being overplayed.
: Totten’s ignoring it, too.