[LINK] ethics above the law?
stewart_fist at optusnet.com.au
Wed Feb 14 10:13:29 EST 2007
> Actually the court didn't find them guilty. They plead guilty.
> The court appears to have taken it on face value. The court could of
> course conduct due inquiry and find them not guilty based on their ethical
> values, which have in all senses hurt no one, except those whom tried to
> use them as a means of defence.
> To me, based on what I've read, it should have been dismissed and perhaps,
> again base don what I've read, the Judge was hinting, next time plead not
If you believe that the judge must uphold the law, even if he disagrees with
it, then he did exactly the right thing. And this is a good thing for
journalism, in a back-handed sort of way, because it publicises the fact
that whistleblowers can trust journalists not to put them in.
The judge does have discretion, however, in terms of the sentence he
imposes, and this will be an interesting test of whether he was hinting or
Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that journalists have never really
defined the privilege they claim.
For instance in the Scooter Libby case, that woman went to jail for some
time because she wouldn't reveal his name.
But Libby clearly was not a whistleblower at the base of the pyramid trying
to effect change at the top, but a deliberate planter of top-down
information trying to mislead the public.
She had far more of a responsibility to her readers than she had to Libby.
And she should have made this distinction, and revealed her sources.
There's no way in the world I would defend anyone who deliberately fed me
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