Americans often wonder what has happened to defamation in America. Now, apparently, anyone can say anything about anyone else without consequence. News organizations routinely turn out stories full of holes and proclaim as fact things that arent. Why? Because the Warren Court in the 1960s decided in New York Times v. Sullivan that a public figure must prove actual malice before he could have a cause of action against a media outlet. A careful reading of the facts of that opinion shows that in every single instance in which the Times had its facts wrong, its reporting portrayed Sullivan, a white Southerner involved in desegregation issues in academia, badly. That is, the paper never made a mistake that made Sullivan look good.
A few years later, the Times published the Pentagon Papers, classified documents that it was unlawful to reveal. While many Americans felt that the Vietnam War was the wrong war at the wrong time including many anti-Communists who saw our military hamstrung by civilian administrators more concerned about their standing at country clubs than that American soldiers were dying these American also understood that there are rules that must guide debate in a republic of ordered liberty.
The New York Times is not overly enamored with the peoples right to know. For instance, the myth of man-made global warming, studied on the taxpayers dime, is surely one of the greatest scandals in modern politics. Yet the Times did not applaud the exposure of the international conspiracy to give government a right to seize more individual liberty through the global warming hoax. Instead, it condemned the revelation of the conspiracy as a crime, arguing that the exposed emails, meant to represent the opinions of climate scientists who are not supposed to have a political agenda were never intended to be read by the public.
Now, with WikiLeaks, the New York Times again reveals its bias against America, against individual liberty, and in favor of the enemies of both. It is a crime to reveal the classified information in WikiLeaks. Those who have access to that information are bound by law and by personal honor not to reveal it. Many Americans, without the help of this information, can make arguments that the interests of America are not served by sending troops to the mountains of Afghanistan.
The New York Times has the consistency and journalistic ethics common to all socialists, which is to say: any lie, any crime, any misdeed which advances their holy cause is justified.
Not exactly how a news" organization should act.
Photo: Walter Duranty, New York Times correspondent, right, at a luncheon given in his honor by the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents at the Hotel Lombardy in New York, April 16, 1936. At left is Kenneth Durant, representative of TASS, Soviet news agency: AP Images