Saturday, July 02, 2005

Never Mind

Remember, Jeff Greenfield has suggested a "solution" to the "problem" which has nothing to do with illegal leaks for political revenge and intimidation, national security, or perjury. Nope, just about press freedom. Notice how Blitzer responds (I missed this the first time):

GREENFIELD: Yes. Wolf? I've got to make one other thing -- the one thing nobody's talked about: This might be a decent case for a presidential pardon, which doesn't get the reporters of the hook legally in the future, but says, you know, this is the wrong circumstance under which to send two people to jail. I know that sounds a little odd, but I've been thinking about this and it strikes me that, that might not be the worst solution to this.

BLITZER: All right. I suspect, though, that some people could say if the president decided to pardon these journalists, he might be participating in some sort of cover up.

GREENFIELD: I'd like to see the press attack the president for protecting the press. That would be an interesting approach.

BLITZER: I don't think the press would attack, necessarily, the president, but others might. We'll watch to see if he accepts your recommendation, if it's necessary. Hopefully that won't be necessary. We don't want to see Judith Miller or Matt Cooper go to jail.

It was so good he brought it up again the next morning. AND, he even invoked the Chewbacca defense ("murky!") to justify it:

GREENFIED: Well, part of it is "The New York Times" is not a defender. They don't face those kinds of things. But in the few seconds left, I've got to get a plug in for a possible weird solution to this.

S. O'BRIEN: What's that? OK. I'll take it. I'll bite.

GREENFIED: No, I'm serious.

S. O'BRIEN: What is it?

GREENFIED: A presidential pardon.

S. O'BRIEN: Convict them?

GREENFIED: No. A presidential pardon says we're not saying that it was right. We're not letting reporters off the hook when their evidence is really needed. But in this murky case, where they weren't -- you know, they don't have information on an ongoing crime, this is not a case where a reporter should go to jail. And given the Bush administration's relationship with the press, this may seem even cynical or weird, I'm not sure it's not a solution.

S. O'BRIEN: Or it might happen.