A not so Plain Dealer...
The reporters say, 'Well, we're willing to go to jail, and I'm willing to go to jail if it gets laid on me,'" Clifton added, "but the newspaper isn't willing to go to jail. That's what the lawyers have told us. So this is a Time Inc. sort of situation.Yes, this is the same Cleveland Plain Dealer that courageously decided to endorse neither Bush nor Kerry in the last election.
Today the nature of one of the two stories the Plain Dealer had shelved is finally revealed, courtesy of the Washington Post. And surprise, surprise, it turns out to provide much less ammunition to those preferring the absolutist position on reporter-source privilege than was initally believed.
The leaked documents were sealed FBI memos, one of them leaked by a defense lawyer in an ongoing corruption probe of Cleveland city officials. This type of leak might seem to pit the right of the public to be informed against the legal rights of court participants, but the revelations about the court proceedings would have come out after trial anyway. This is clearly in the category of "scoop at any cost", even at the risk of jeopardizing legal proceeedings seeking to fight corruption of public offices.
The funniest part of this whole story is found near the end of the Washington Post article.
The Plain Dealer, Ohio's largest newspaper, decided to publish after the weekly Scene wrote about the investigation and identified the story as one that was being withheld, Clifton said in Friday's edition.Once again, cowards are getting played.