Washington Post: Stop Us Before We Do Any More Real Journalism Like That Cute Little Guardian Paper

from the we-should-never-have-broken-watergate dept

Want to see how an out of touch editorial board works? The Washington Post — which continues to be a key player in publishing documents leaked by Ed Snowden — has written a bizarre and totally tone deaf post about how the leaks need to stop before they cause any real damages.

In fact, the first U.S. priority should be to prevent Mr. Snowden from leaking information that harms efforts to fight terrorism and conduct legitimate intelligence operations. Documents published so far by news organizations have shed useful light on some NSA programs and raised questions that deserve debate, such as whether a government agency should build a database of Americans’ phone records. But Mr. Snowden is reported to have stolen many more documents, encrypted copies of which may have been given to allies such as the WikiLeaks organization.

It is not clear whether Russia or China hasobtained the material, though U.S. officials would have to assume that Mr. Snowden would be obliged to hand over whatever he has to win asylum in Moscow. Such an exchange would belie his claim to be a patriotic American and a whistleblower. At the same time, stopping potentially damaging revelations or the dissemination of intelligence to adversaries should take precedence over U.S. prosecution of Mr. Snowden — which could enhance his status as a political martyr in the eyes of many both in and outside the United States.

Yes, this is an editorial board of a newspaper famous for breaking stories thanks to whistleblowers and leakers, including this very story, asking the government to stop them from being able to publish any more leaked documents. It’s as if the Editorial Board of the Washington Post doesn’t even realize that its own reporters have been key players in reporting on this story. Or, as Jack Shafer amusingly wrote: “Bart Gellman’s stories are coming from INSIDE YOUR BUILDING!”

And then, in a bizarre article by Paul Farhi, the Washington Post appears to mock The Guardian, the famed British newspaper, which has been around for almost two centuries and is well known around the globe, as if it’s some small upstart:

For a newspaper that’s small and underweight even by British standards, the Guardian has a knack for making some big noises, both in its home market and across the pond.

Of course, as plenty of folks are pointing out, the Guardian is larger than the Washington Post in terms of readership:

The Guardian’s global monthly unique visitors: 23.2 million 41 million in May, per Guardian press officer Gennady Kolker

The Washington Post’s monthly unique visitors: 17.2 million

And, in terms of newsrooms, apparently, they have nearly identical staff sizes. Oh, and then there’s this: while the Washington Post has beaten the Guardian to a few of these stories, the Guardian is generally cleaning WaPo’s clock in terms of its overall coverage of the leaks. Perhaps the Washington Post shouldn’t let its jealousy show quite so much.

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Comments on “Washington Post: Stop Us Before We Do Any More Real Journalism Like That Cute Little Guardian Paper”

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24 Comments
chronoss2008 says:

legitimate intelligence operations

prey do tell what you americans consider is legit?
i stopped reading at that point….it just doesn’t pass a sniff test at that point.

ITS like quick we need this stopped so we can continue doing what we already are on the worlds population ….
like some drug addict needing his fix.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: "...efforts to fight terrorism and conduct legitimate intelligence operations"

I was askance at the same phrase.

I like that we get rapid feedback, as people in the article’s comments seem to also be calling shenanigans on this one.

In the old days, I had to fume at the paper or the telly imagining that the rest of the world agreed with the written print, or the talking head.

Maybe the internet will save us after all.

gorehound (profile) says:

Loser Newspaper who now wants to stop the Reporting even though they should never do that.Probably their Corporate Rich Greedmeister Owners ordered them to stop.Maybe our own Gov ordered this……….I personally would not doubt that since I have Zilch Approval of the Corrupted US Gov.

Running a totally illegal operation not only on the Internationals but to us Citizens and for no reason.Just a Gov that trolls us for info.

Viva La Revolution !

Anonymous Coward says:

This was my favorite part (last paragraph of the editorial):

The best solution for both Mr. Snowden and the Obama administration would be his surrender to U.S. authorities, followed by a plea negotiation. It?s hard to believe that the results would leave the 30-year-old contractor worse off than living in permanent exile in an unfree country. Sadly, the supposed friends of this naive hacker are likely advising him otherwise.

There are several things here:

“Best solution for … Mr. Snowden” I’m not sure the Post or the Obama administration has Snowden’s welfare in mind here.

“It’s hard to believe that [surrender to U.S. authorities] would leave [Snowden] worse off than living in permanent exile in an unfree country.” First, I can think of several situations in which surrender to U.S. authority sounds less than ideal. I imagine a beach in Ecuador sounds okay to Bradley Manning right about now.

Second, the phrase “unfree country” is ridiculous, especially when it is unclear where Snowden will find asylum (e.g. France), and hypocritical since the United States is the one hunting whistleblowers and journalists.

Last, the Post calls Snowden a “naive hacker.” Once we get past the ad hominen attack, we have another example of the press calling Snowden a hacker. Snowden worked as a contractor with a security clearance; he did not hack into any NSA systems. This continued lie smearing Snowden’s reputation is not up to the journalistic standards of the Washington Post.

I expect more from the editorial board of the Washington Post. What happened to the newspaper that revealed the Pentagon Papers?

rapnel (profile) says:

There was an interesting interview I watched with Charlie Rose interviewing Guardian editors Alan Rusbridger and Janine Gibson here (charlieRose.com).

I thought the bit about the NSA vetting the releases was interesting (or as close to vetting as the editors would “allow”). There are other interestings too but basically leading to the conclusion that this “view” of the WPost’s is utter bullshit. In short, they’re kowtowing to the machine. Succinctly; they’re being pussies. Putin is part of his own machine and the only people that want to destroy the US are those who’ve had their livelihoods destroyed for decades by corporate plagues and policies and those that loose friends and family to drones. That’s the opinion from the basement any way and it’s a sacrosanct one, for now, today.

And where the fuck is Congress? Speaking of pussies? Oh, right, complaining about Google Glass and their privacy policy. Forgot. Re-elections before Constitutional protections.. and all that.

Free all the information – All of it. That’s what the fear is. They’re afraid of all of us except perhaps the apologists who seem to think that what happens to Snowden actually matters.

I grow weary of the fear based policy and the moral code imposed upon our own spheres of existence.

Secrets. Secrets basically mean that someone is either being harmed or will be. That’s all they’ve ever been. The rest is just tactical support to protect the secret. Exhibit A: Washington

Anonymous Coward says:

Call from the White House

The same people that got the NYT to change their editorial page:
“The administration has now lost all credibility” — was changed Thursday night to read, “The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.” No correction or explanatory note was appended.” http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/06/ny-times-changes-scathing-editorial-165650.html
called the Wash Post to spin the story.

The White House is full of criminals…Glenn Greenwald said the 7th shoe is going to drop soon…

RubyPanther says:

We had the debate about the Patriot Act, the time for the nation to decide if they wanted to be spied on in order to catch terrorists was when the law was being debated in Congress and being covered in the news then. Now people find out that the Government is doing exactly what was debated and authorized, and some of them pretend to be shocked so they can get all breathless. Pathetic. I’m against the Patriot Act and I always was, but if you lose the battle over the legislation it makes little to whine and accuse over it being implemented. It passed, it became the Government’s duty to implement the law.

The Washington Post is a pathetic right wing rag and it supported the Patriot Act all along. And if we ask them to do an editorial on it, I’m sure they’ll tell us it is necessary. That they are dishonest about themselves in their editorials should only be a surprise to people born yesterday.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

We had the debate about the Patriot Act, the time for the nation to decide if they wanted to be spied on in order to catch terrorists was when the law was being debated in Congress and being covered in the news then. Now people find out that the Government is doing exactly what was debated and authorized, and some of them pretend to be shocked so they can get all breathless.

The stuff the NSA is doing is not what the PATRIOT act says they can do.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130628/01171923655/why-nsas-surveillance-program-is-unconstitutional.shtml

Donglebert the Needlessly Obtuse says:

I don't believe this has anything to do with a "War on Terror"

If there was a “War on Terror”, well then the US lost because they’re demonstrably and publicly terrified.

But what would be the benefit of the government and media to continue to foster this fear amongst the people? Countries have always spied and done things a bit underhand but they didn’t walk around with big signs being “YOU SHOULD BE SCARED”.

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