Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I don't intend for this to be a political blog, but when an issue touches on the First Amendment, it's certainly on-topic here.
In choosing the cartoons for this week's "Drawing Conclusions," I anticipated dealing with the NYTimes disclosures. However, there weren't enough relevant cartoons available by deadline Tuesday. I expect to come back to the matter next week, and I hope by then there are some intelligent anti-Times cartoons rather than just dumb, frantic, paranoid recitations of right-wing talking points. There could be a smart discussion of when the press should publish and when it should shut up, and I'd prefer to see it treated with wit and insight from both sides.
But maybe that discussion can't emerge from this particular example, for the simple reason that this is a stupid example.
The rightwing is asking, well, what if the press had announced the date of the D-Day invasion back in 1944?
Aside from the point that invading Normandy didn't involve authorizing a violation of the Bill of Rights, here's how the question should be phrased: "What if the press had announced the date of the D-Day invasion four years after the president himself announced it?"
Here's what our Dear Leader told FEMA employees, on October 1, 2001:
"As you may remember, I made it clear that part of winning the war against terror would be to cut off these evil people's money; it would be to trace their assets and freeze them, cut off their cash flows, hold people accountable who fund them, who allow the funds to go through their institutions; and not only do that at home, but to convince others around the world to join us in doing so.
"Thus far, we've frozen $6 million in bank accounts linked to terrorist activity. We've frozen 30 al Qaeda accounts in the United States and 20 overseas. And we're just beginning."
There's more to this story in an excellent takedown on the Columbia Journalism Review site:
The illustration today is a July 3, 2003 cartoon by Ann Telnaes, whose work I greatly admire. Her site at www.anntelnaes.com is always worth a visit.