When A Confidential Source Is A Partner In Crime

When Judith Miller of the New York Times and Time Magazine’s Matt Cooper faced imprisonment for not revealing Karl Rove as the source for reporting that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert agent with the CIA, many observers, including me, objected to their perverse interpretation of what constitutes a “confidential source.”

“Reporters do need to be able to protect their sources without fear of legal consequences when engaged in the conduct of their profession as journalists, but not when they are acting on behalf of government hitmen and promoting propaganda. That’s not protecting your sources, that’s protecting your accomplices.”

Now that it is old news that Rove leaked classified information, Time’s former editor in chief, Norman Pearlstine is coming clean:

“Outing Valerie Plame, exposing a valuable (CIA) agent for no particular reason, didn’t, in my mind, merit protecting confidentiality,”

Thanks Norm. It only took you two years to realize that reporters who act as conduits for political operatives who are engaging in smear campaigns may not extend confidentiality to their comrades.