By FRED WEINBERG Penny Press Publisher
By FRED WEINBERG
Penny Press Publisher
Here in Las Vegas, we can only watch as media big shots like those who publish the New York Times play with our safety.
The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and — incredibly — the Wall Street Journal all published a story last week generated by the New York Times which exposed a secret program under which the United States Government looked at the massive database of international wire transfers maintained by the Belgium-based company, SWIFT, which handles most such transactions.
The concept of the program was simple. Follow the terrorists’ money.
Nobody—not even the Times—will say the program was not legal and, the Bush administration asked the Times not to publish the story because the program was apparently yielding results.
But the editor of the Times decided that exposing the program was "in the public interest" and they went ahead and published the story.
Now if that newspaper had been the Times of London, somebody would have gone to jail because it would have been a violation of England’s Official Secrets Act.
But here in the United States, we have never needed such a law because our journalists have been—for the most part—responsible and willing to give up a good story for the greater benefit and safety of the citizens.
That started to erode when CNN sent Peter Arnett to Baghdad and he went live while we were bombing at the start of the first Gulf war.
They justified this by suggesting that they were a multi-national company and didn’t necessarily owe allegiance to the United States. That their job was to report the facts no matter whose interests were hurt.
Imagine if Edward R. Murrow had been covering World War II from Berlin next door to Hitler’s bunker.
That didn’t happen back then for two reasons.
One, the technology wasn’t there to do such things, and;
Two, CBS CEO William Paley would most likely never have allowed it.
But today, it appears that media outlets like the New York Times so hate the administration of George W. Bush that they will do almost everything they can to make it look bad up to and, perhaps, including helping terrorists kill Americans.
The truth is we do not need an official secrets act.
What we need to do is to let the marketplace take its revenge in the same manner that it has on the Dixie Chicks who at a concert in England told their audience they were "…ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas"
They’ve had to cancel 42 dates so far this year and their album sales are off substantially.
That is how to deal with the New York Times.
Tell General Motors that if they advertise in the Times, you’ll buy a Ford.
Tell Ford that if they advertise in the Times you’ll buy a GM car.
One of them and then both will get the message.
Don’t read them, don’t buy them and don’t look at any ads in either the paper or their web sites.
There aren’t enough folks who agree with their editorial bent to keep them in business.
It’s a much more American solution than passing a new law restricting our civil liberties.
And, the results will—as in the situation with the Dixie Chicks—be much more satisfying.