Tuesday, June 27, 2006

An Open Letter to Newsweek Magazine

Dear Friends at Newsweek,

This is by way of follow-up on Jonathan Alter's article, of last December, "Snoopgate," which dealt with the president's micromanagement of editors, and publishers, of at least one major newspaper in this country.

I write to ask what you as editors, and publishers, intend to do about the latest financial data mining debacle fallout, and this administration's undeclared war on The New York Times. You neend't hear from me what the responsibility of publishers of magazines, and papers, is with regard to maintaining a healthy, autonomous press, but you will hear it from history if you don't act, and act swiftly.

Alas, the article Mr. Alter wrote last December, "Snoopgate," may now be called "Swipegate" as the politics of preemption have now come to include the press; the snipers now occupy the Oval Office, hence the question is even more intense: when may we, as readers and citizens, expect to have the pleasure of seeing righteous indignation, and action, instead of passive resignation to this executive branch blitzkrieg?

When the integrity, indeed the very survival, of a major newspaper is challenged, all in the publishing industry must shake from the aftershock, and freedom of expression, great and small, is compromised. There can be no national security without truth, and no news coverage without unobstructed, and tamper-proof reporting. As your readers, we will expect, and demand, nothing less than your commitment to those journalistic ethics, and pledge to put your shoulder to the wheel, and oppose this assault, and battery, on a free press. Your silence may be viewed as acquiescence.

It's your turn up at the plate. Let's hope you, and your publishing colleagues, hit a home run, so your pages may continue to be filled with crucial information, which is much-needed, in these desperate times.