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The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

Guaranteed Stupid: Press Reports On Press Reporting

This is contemptible. A piece of news that deliberately hides information in order to impress you that reporters are being attacked, when, in fact, they are not. How does a journalist sleep at night after printing that?

Here's the story:

A CIA agent leaked classified information to a journalist. The information was secret because human beings were risking their lives to serve the interests of the United States in Iraq. For the CIA it was a matter of life or death.

But that's not the only interest involved. What about the public interest? Did this secret cover up horrible crimes committed in our name? No. Did this secret shield public officials from accountability for mistakes? No. 

The public interest in this case was the natural curiosity we all have in what happens behind the scenes in war. Is that nothing? No. Is it worth a life? Not even close.

But the New York Times just has to tell you that this is part of a broader war on press freedom. (You might think that the press is more free than ever before, given the recent removal of the restriction that was preventing them from reporting on the monthly police executions of unarmed black Americans that have been going on for decades. They NYT begs to differ because what's 12 dead black men a year compared to a juicy story about war, right?)

So how do they paint this scary dystopia?

...a defining case in the Obama administration’s crackdown on government leaks. Under Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the Justice Department prosecuted more people for having unauthorized discussions with reporters than all prior administrations combined.

What, exactly, is a journalist reporting when he calls something "a defining case"? He's saying that somebody thinks that this instance is the best representative of a broader class. Ok. Well who thinks that? It's the disembodied voice from nowhere! 

But look! The next sentence contains an actual fact. We learn that Obama's Justice Department has prosecuted more of these cases "than all prior administrations combined".

Is that important? Depends what the number is. If the prior number is zero and the current number is one, then, well, big fucking deal, right? So what is it?

The New York Times doesn't think that information is relevant enough to mention. This is the same paper that just spits out meaningless, context-free, big numbers like millions and billions when talking about the Federal Deficit. But here's a number we can comprehend. So why don't they trust us with it?

Probably because it would reveal that these whining babies need to get some perspective. 

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