Both Democrats And Republicans Blame The Messenger When Leaked Emails Are Made Available

from the stop-it dept

Back during the 2016 election, when Wikileaks published John Podesta's leaked emails, Democrats freaked out and blamed Wikileaks, and even tried to lie about the validity of those emails. Many supporters of the Democratic party, to this day, believe that Wikileaks and/or Julian Assange should face legal consequences for publishing those hacked emails. Of course, Republicans cheered on that effort. Sean Hannity, who back in 2010 was screaming about how Assange was "waging his war against the U.S." by publishing the leaked documents from Chelsea Manning and demanding that Obama "arrest" Assange, is now seen as one of Assange's most vocal supporters even having him on his show.

But, of course, when the shoe is on the other foot, things change. Just recently, various news organizations started reporting on shenanigans by top Trump fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, based on a leak of Broidy's emails. Broidy's not taking this very well, issuing a subpoena to the Associated Press to try to uncover the news organization's source for his emails.

No one is saying that it's okay to hack into someone'e email. But in both cases we're talking about those who are upset about an email leak going after the organization publishing the details of the leak and blaming the messenger. Just because documents are leaked or hacked or obtained through questionable means, it does not mean that news organizations can't publish them. Nor does it mean that they have to hand over the details of their sources. But it is worth noting that I don't see anyone who was screaming about Wikileaks now supporting Broidy's demands to the AP. Nor do I see those who were defending Wikileaks now defending the Associated Press against Broidy.

It's almost as if most of the people on either side of this political horse race are determining which news orgs to support based on whose side the revelations help. That's... bad. We should support a free press and condemn attacks on news organizations when they're revealing newsworthy leaked information, no matter whether the news helps or hurts "your" side. Treating politics as a "red team" v. "blue team" sport leads to bad outcomes for everyone's rights.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2018 @ 9:53am

    When elites whine about their illegal or unethical stuff getting released, just tell them what they've said to us for years;
    "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2018 @ 10:13am

    yellow journalism

    "when they're revealing newsworthy leaked information"

    But it seems that the vast majority of White House leaks since the start of the Trump administration do not pass the "newsworthy" test. So much is just childish name-calling, silly gossip and 3rd-party rumors, often completely uncorroborated (and later retracted) but put out to the public anyway. There's no longer any difference betweeen the mainstream press and the tabloid press, there's just so much garbage all the way around.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2018 @ 10:22am

      Re: yellow journalism

      Ironically, this is just false.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2018 @ 11:39am

      Re: yellow journalism

      Oh, you mean when trump skips out of a meeting with NK it is the same thing as when the incredible frog boy is on the loose again?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        David (profile), 25 May 2018 @ 4:16pm

        Re: Re: yellow journalism

        I am quite happy that you know about the frogboy and that I do not.

        Of course, my reading list is curated by me. It includes Techdirt.com and others. It does not include tabloids, or anything FOX related.

        MSM is dramatically better than the tabloids. You reading bad press about your favorite politicians isn't on them. It's on your bad politicians.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    discordian_eris (profile), 25 May 2018 @ 10:15am

    S.S.D.D.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2018 @ 10:22am

    An article blaming both sides... you think Mr. Armchair Anarchist and closet Ajit Pai fanboy is going to finally give it a rest?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2018 @ 10:36am

    Gawker

    Just because documents are leaked or hacked or obtained through questionable means, it does not mean that news organizations can't publish them.

    That's what Gawker thought too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 25 May 2018 @ 12:56pm

    It's almost as if most of the people on either side of this political horse race are determining which news orgs to support based on whose side the revelations help.

    Yeah, it does almost seem like that, doesn't it?

    That's... bad.

    No, it depends. Is this leak embarrassing the Republicans or the Democrats? It's bad if it's one of them all right, but if it's the other one, it's nothing more than the bastards deserve!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2018 @ 9:30pm

    ... issuing a subpoena to the Associated Press to try to uncover the news organization's source for his emails.

    ...going after the organization publishing the details of the leak and blaming the messenger.

    I beg to differ. "going after the publisher" in this case would be suing the AP. Once the AP, pro forma, denies Broidy's request for the source of the emails outside the courts, of course he's going to issue a subpoena. You would have been more honest to mention Qatar:

    The subpoena comes as part of a March lawsuit Broidy brought in a California federal court against the government of Qatar, Republican operative Nick Muzin and Muzin’s firm Stonington Strategies, which has registered as an agent of Qatar. The lawsuit accuses Qatar of hacking Broidy’s emails and alleges that Muzin aided in their dissemination. The AP is not a party to the lawsuit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bish, 28 May 2018 @ 2:03pm

    emailzes

    Every time I read the badly-pluralized 'emails', the illusion of respect I so need to have is utterly shattered. Please consider pluralizing 'email' the same way we pluralize 'mail' or 'traffic'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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