Saturday, July 01, 2006

Drivel from Times-two

I only got three paragraphs into Baquet and Keller’s poppycock before I could read no more. When I stopped I thought, “What does this remind me of?”

And then it hit me, that old Irving Berlin song Sisters, sisters. (the lyrics follow the paragraphs excerpted from their editorial).
When do we publish a secret?
How the press balances national security with its mission to report the news.

By Dean Baquet and Bill Keller, DEAN BAQUET is editor of the Los Angeles Times. BILL KELLER is executive editor of the New York Times.

SINCE SEPT. 11, 2001, newspaper editors have faced excruciating choices in covering the government's efforts to protect the country from terrorist agents. Each of us has, on a number of occasions, withheld information because we were convinced that publishing it could put lives at risk. On other occasions, each of us has decided to publish classified information over strong objections from our government.

Last week, our newspapers disclosed a secret Bush administration program to monitor international banking transactions. We did so after appeals from senior administration officials to hold the story. Our reports — like earlier press disclosures of secret measures to combat terrorism — revived an emotional national debate, featuring angry calls of "treason" and proposals that journalists be jailed, along with much genuine concern and confusion about the role of the press in times like these.

We are rivals. Our newspapers compete on a hundred fronts every day. We apply the principles of journalism individually as editors of independent newspapers. We agree, however, on some basics about the immense responsibility the press has been given by the inventors of the country…

Sisters, sisters

There were never such devoted sisters,
Never had to have a chaperone, no sir,
I’m there to keep my eye on her
Caring, sharing
Every little thing that we are wearing
When a certain gentleman arrived from rome
She wore the dress, and I stayed home
All kinds of weather, we stick together
The same in the rain and sun
Two different faces, but in tight places
We think and we act as one
Those who’ve seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us
Many men have tried to split us up, but no one can
Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister
And lord help the sister, who comes between me and my man


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