Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Lips Sealed, Eyebrows Waggling

Robert Novak ably demonstrates why journalists do not, and should not, enjoy the confidentiality protections of priests, lawyers, and doctors.

When a doctor is asked to break a confidence, not only will she not yield the information, she will not refer the questioner to someone who will. She works to ensure the confidence is respected.

Contrast that with Novak's behavior. He clearly wants the name of his source revealed, the confidence broken--just not direct from his lips.

Lawfully immune confidants do not dance in the streets singing

I know something you dunno
I know something you dunno
And I ain't gonna tell you!

When journalists learn that "harlequin" is not an ethical profession, we can endow them with those privileges.

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