Creating a controversy with the New York Times

Is Spiro Agnew remembered for anything but the phrase “nattering nabobs of negativity”? I don’t have anything.

It fits into the canon of the conservative movement’s long-held battle against the press, which has taken an ugly turn this week as the whole of the Republican party demands COMPLIANCE from and RETRIBUTION for the New York Times, mentioned exclusively, for a story written up by the Wall Street Journal and others.

I don’t know if I particularly care about the story, to be honest. I’m either not a good civil libertarian or am circumspect that what has been lost has already been lost. The government is following private banking records — specifically the name of the enterprise through international transactions is SWIFT, you say? I have less a problem with this enterprise than warrant-less eavesdropping of phone calls, though the combination is a little striking.

The problem is, I gather, the terrorists probably moved gingerly beyond SWIFT, as best they can, a long time ago. And thus, I can only get depressed in hearing the throb of Republicans — who, by the way, are waiting on call from the Bush Administration in how to proceed to give him license to affect no changes in our Guantanamo policy making the 5-3 Supreme Court decision for all practical purposes meaningless…

The question is: Should we shut down the media, or consolidate it into the government?

No. Wait. Not quite yet.

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