The National Review, like its pals in the Bush administration, is in a froth over the New York Times’ valiant reporting on administration’s secretive spying on everyone and everything. Now, clueless on what it means to enjoy free-speech rights in our republic, the NR huffs and puffs:
Publications such as the Times, which act irresponsibly when given access to secrets on which national security depends, should have their access to government reduced. Their press credentials should be withdrawn. Reporting is surely a right, but press credentials are a privilege. This kind of conduct ought not be rewarded with privileged access.
Losing credentials to the White House press room? Good heavens! This has certainly impeded — not — the work of Seymour Hersh and other journalists who don’t have such access.
While this is profoundly stupid idea, it does raise an important issue. Access to government is the public’s right, not just that of a few privileged journalists.