Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Press is Now Also the Police

Posted by M. C. on April 18, 2023

As fallout from the Discord leak continues, the undisguised partnerships of media, intelligence, and law enforcement come into more painful relief


Back from vacation I made the mistake of scanning the news and was shocked by the media’s ongoing orgy of self-congratulation and Two-Minutes-Hating, in response to the capture of “Pentagon Leaker” Jack Teixeira. Glenn Greenwald has already covered a lot of this on System Update, but this represents a major new progression in the ongoing mutation of news media, from public advocate to cop.

The New York Times and Washington Post trumpeted roles in helping identify Air National Guardsman Teixiera for the FBI. “We’re delivering him to you with his head on a platter,” is how Glenn put it.

It’s an awful look for the press. This isn’t tracking down a serial killer or exposing Enron’s fraud. The alleged “crime” here is releasing true information, information that belongs to the American public and is secret only by official designation. At most, a newspaper might decide not to publish such information, but to help jail the leaker? It’s nuts. Reporters are supposed to be interested in everything and listen to information without judgment, like doctors, yet the whole industry is working itself into a moral frenzy because a bunch of overgrown Minecraft enthusiasts were privately passing around a few truths like a joint.

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© 2023 Matt Taibbi

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