September 30, 2003

COULD ROBERT NOVAK BE FORCED TO REVEAL HIS SOURCES? Yes, writes Eugene Volokh. Volokh is more of a First Amendment expert than I am — I teach it, and I’ve written a couple of articles, but he’s got a well-regarded book — but I agree with his analysis.

UPDATE: Am I serious? Why not? Subpoena him and the other reporters. Find out what happened. If somebody leaked, fire ‘em. It’s easy and it’s fast, and it’s legal. What’s wrong with this idea? Why have a special rule for the press? Who else is allowed to go around saying that they have knowledge of a crime but won’t talk?

You can’t have a special rule on this for journalists, because journalists don’t have special First Amendment rights, and anyway everyone is a journalist now, thanks to the Internet. This will be disturbing to professional journalists, but I don’t see an alternative. And this is a national security leak, in wartime, right?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Surprisingly little negative reaction to the above. Except for this. Heh.