A few years ago, the New York Times revealed the existence of the Terrorist Surveillance Program, a theretofore-secret effort to prevent attacks by listening in on overseas terrorists’ phone conversations. In defense of the Times’s action, we heard a lot of pious proclamations about privacy: George Bush might want to snoop on your phone conversations or emails, and the press was merely being vigilant in protecting your privacy.
Yet the AP, in reporting on its own role in the current story, tells us that it refuses to cooperate with the Secret Service’s investigation of the privacy breach. Granted, the AP probably doesn’t have that much to contribute to the investigation. But the symbolism is telling, and surely deliberate. It suggests the press places a far lower premium on privacy than on its own privileges and its adversarial attitude toward government (or perhaps toward Republicans).
Privacy for terrorists but not for Palin