There are times when the media may wish to protect anonymous sources in order to publish important truths, protect courageous whistleblowers, and uncover government misconduct. The current cases of Novak, Cooper and Miller represent none of the above. These "journalists" were used to perpetuate a crime and enable the sleaziest of the sleazy to engage in political payback. There was and is nothing noble about the protection of the suspected witness, Karl Rove, who many believe "ousted" Valerie Plame in violation of federal law.
If the suspicions of Ms. Plame’s husband prove to be correct, Karl Rove, engaged in political payback of the lowest order in revealing state secrets about Ms. Plame’s employment in government service. Protecting Karl Rove as an anonymous source creates journalistic sleaze or a form of "embedded-ness" between mainstream journalists and muckraking, lawbreaking political operatives.
The news that Novak and Cooper and Miller told should NEVER have been told. There was and is no journalistic merit in that news and there should be no sympathy for these people going to jail in order to protect their disreputable source. They should all be in jail together — with Mr. Rove.
It would actually be fun to picture Robert Novak and Karl Rove in a city jail in Washington D.C. with a few junkies and street criminals to keep them company. Let’s see Novak and Rove preach to the disenfranchised about personal responsibility. Let’s see them spend a few nights in a Guantanomo-like setting and put them through interrogation to see what other state secrets they have been divulging, what illegal wars they have instigated and may still be planning, and whether they can take any of what they have dished out to others.
Maybe a television series, "The Miller Diaries" could provide a recollection of the rise and fall of Judith Miller, with emphasis on her fall into a future role as a press advisor to the Jeb Bush campaign in ’08.
But no crocodile tears need neither be nor will be shared over this group of hustlers and manipulators who took journalism down another notch during the reign of Calamity George. They deserved what they got and they got what they deserved, and that’s the way we see it on July 7, 2005.