Edward Snowden–his name evokes many emotions and tends to align folks on one side of national security or the other. It has been more than six months since he released information regarding NSA wiretaps to the world media and in that time, there has been no conclusion on his actions.
In a recent Salon article, Patrick L. Smith accused the New York Times of kowtowing to the government by withholding information, using national security as an excuse rather than release all information. Smith accuses the Times as being a middling paper and all but asks for Times executive director Jill Abramson to replaced.
Smith is a well respected correspondent, commentator, editor and critic who’s been published in The New Yorker and International Herald Tribune has a reputation for high criticism of governments, especially the U.S. His attack on the Times is not surprising, his lack of respect for the institution is.
The Times is not in anyone’s pocket and their discretion on what to print is their business. As journalist’s they have the duty but also to right to decide “All The News That’s Fit to Print.” Just as Smith has the right to criticism them. If he is unhappy with their choice, he can criticize them, as he did, or if he really believes that the public has a right to know, he should obtain the information himself.
Honestly, I think his rant like attack on the paper, invalidates journalism as a whole.
It should be noted, that while I know that Snowden broke the law, I have mixed feelings about what he did and what the U.S. government did. So, I guess I have no solution to if the Times is doing the right thing.