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Who's the real anti-hero here: Miller? Novak? Judge Fitzgerald?

Norm Pattis writes that the "anti-hero" in the prosecution of two journalists who refuse to reveal which sources told them Valerie Plame was a CIA agent is "Patrick J. Fitzgerald, a pug-faced federal prosecutor bent on making an ass of the law. He wants the reporters jailed in a federal penal facility. Why? The better to punish them. House arrest won't do. Shame on Fitzgerald ... Fitzgerald is tone deaf to civil disobedience."

I agree with Pattis -- but I'd add Robert Novak, the Chicago Sun-Times columnist who wrote the original column outing Plame and who is apparently getting away scot-free, to the list. If you want to consider why a federal shield law would be valuable to our society and why it's pretty outrageous that The New York Times' Judith Miller may go to jail for discussing a story with a source that she never wrote but Robert Novak did, I recommend these links from Bob Ambrogi's Media Law blog:

A new and surprising addition to my personal list of heroes? William Safire, for his lambasting of Novak, as quoted here on CNN:

HENRY: "OK. Now, just in general about the principle at stake here -- William Safire, fellow conservative, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times saying that at the very least, he believes that you owe your readers, and in this case, your viewers, some explanation. He said, 'Mr. Novak should finally write the column he owes readers and colleagues perhaps explaining how his two sources, who may have truthfully revealed themselves to investigators, managed to get the prosecutor off his back.' I think that's the question. Why is it that there are two reporters out there who may go to jail, Bob, but it doesn't appear that you are going to go to jail?

NOVAK: Well, that's what I can't reveal until this case is finished. I hope it is finished soon. And when it does, I agree with Mr. Safire, I will reveal all in a column and on the air.

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Posted by Laurel Newby on July 6, 2005 at 02:51 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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