Repairing Leaks

Reporters could fill us in on the Plame saga by describing their own roles

Yes, I do understand why the Times people can't talk now. The case isn't over, and Miller's in jail and could face stiffer charges. But I do hope the non-storytelling will end and the narrative will bloom when the prosecutor—who is testing the public's patience—finishes his work.

Why do I consider this personal accounting by journalists so important? Because they and their journalism were pieces of the story and should not be left blank. Because reporters risk losing credibility as independent observers if they are seen as cooperators and information gatherers for government agencies. And, perhaps most crucial, because we have no rational explanation for calling regularly on government and corporate giants to release all possible information to the public if we ourselves decline to release the details about our roles and our processes when they are germane to the story.

Robert Novak should come out from behind his false curtain and tell us everything. Judith Miller must also tell her story in full. Tim Russert cuts a large figure in Washington. He should be a big man now and give us some details; why not agree to be interviewed by someone as probing as he?

Again, they don't have to name their sources. Just be reporters. The public has a right to know; isn't that our mantra? If not, are we the piano player in that bordello?

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