Leakers and journalists are tied together like drug dealers and junkies.
Unfair analogy? Maybe a bit, but people who live “respectable middle-class lives” can be just as dangerous, more dangerous, ultimately, than the murderous El Chapos of the world and that’s pretty bad. Only the other day some U.S. intel people or person leaked to the New York Times about the Manchester terrorist, causing news to be reported that could have instigated more Islamist child murders.
We have an epidemic of leaking in our society unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime. It’s approaching Plague level — but with no vaccine in sight.
The latest, at this typing, is that Jared Kushner is under investigation by the FBI. Here’s the headline at CNN of an article signed by no less than four authors (it takes a village) –Evan Perez, Pamela Brown, Shimon Prokupecz and Gloria Borger: “FBI Russia investigation looking at Kushner role.”
Who leaked that and what did they tell them about the president’s son-in-law? Has Jared been selling us out to Putin? It certainly sounds that way.
Well, not really. Look no further than the second and third paragraph and you discover:
So these great literary geniuses — the scions of Woodward and Bernstein (aka people who can pick up the phone) — and the leakers have a co-dependent relationship, both convincing themselves that what they are doing is for the betterment of humanity. (That’s what Hans Vaihinger
called the Philosophy of As If.) Of course, the leakers, assuming they are from our intelligence agencies, have all signed contracts swearing up and down not
to do the very thing they have
done, in some cases, in all probability, multiple times. Moreover — in their putative attempt to “save the republic” (or their own jobs or get vengeance) — we have no idea whether they are telling the truth, a half-truth or no truth at all about what they are leaking. Or whether the journalists are reporting those leaks with even a modicum of accuracy. That’s how thoroughly these symbiotic morally narcissistic partners believe in their own “goodness” and how little they really care about what the American people think or do.
So what do we do about this state of affairs in a democratic republic, assuming we are serious about having one?
Quite simply, the leakers need to go to jail with the proverbial key thrown away. That is the only way this leaking will stop and it must stop. Prosecutions should have started months ago. It’s hard to understand why it’s taken so long. Let’s hope we have indictments soon. Like tomorrow.
Regarding journalists, they need an entirely new code of ethics. Unfortunately, any reader of Evelyn Waugh
(not to mention anybody with a pulse) knows just how unlikely that is. It’s high time for the consumers of news to fight back tooth and nail. Anytime we see or hear the term “anonymous source” or someone “authorized to speak” only confidentially, something so common now there’s almost no reporting without it, often six or seven instances within one article or broadcast, we should simply turn off the television or throw the newspaper into the garbage, never to buy another copy. If you’re reading it on the Internet, just click off. You could say that’s propaganda, not journalism. But it’s not even good propaganda. It’s junk, information pollution, worse than 1970s smog. It also lowers your IQ five points every time you’re exposed. You don’t need it.
And if you ever see or hear the word “Russia” again, feel free to run screaming from the room like the subject in an Edvard Munch painting.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. He fritters away time on Twitter @rogerlsimon.