Bill Keller, the editor of America's greatest newspaper, continues to systematically dismantle his professional reputation by writing an unnecessary, vainglorious, and ill-advised column in the New York Times Magazine, in which he demonstrates, week by depressing week, that he's not as great as you would have imagined. This week, he comes right out and calls for more government secrecy and less journalism. "For those charged with keeping secrets, WikiLeaks is a wake-up call," he writes. "So what should the government do to make the leaker's task - and my job as a nosy journalist - harder?
What a heartening question, coming from the editor of our nation's most influential news outlet!
A second remedy is to better restrict access to the secrets that matter. Since 9/11, the conventional wisdom has moved the opposite way, favoring broader intelligence-sharing as essential to the early detection of terrorist plots. But it is one thing to ensure that law-enforcement agencies share reports of flight-school trainees who have no interest in learning to land their planes. It is another to give an Army private (and 500,000 others) access to a network that contains all the midlevel secrets of the Pentagon and the State Department.
So, Bill Keller thinks that the Pentagon should better restrict its secret files—otherwise, someone might take that stuff and... leak it to the New York Times, who would then publish it. Bill Keller wouldn't want that.
Christ, it almost sounds like he's the kind of guy who would ask the government's permission before he'd print leaked... oh, right.
[NYT Magazine, photo via AP]