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September 12, 2009

Andrew Sullivan's "Get Out of Jail" Free Card

One of former attractions of journalism was to be intimate with the brick thrown into your window, the gun shoved into your face, the sap applied to the back of your head; to know the smell of sawdust on a gym floor, to be familiar with groping for a dime amid the lint in your pocket for that phone call to the city desk; and to know the sour taste of bad coffee served at the cut-rate greasepit. This was the price of admission into a brotherhood, or so we were told. If today that's changed to the point where a US Attorney will act to keep you from getting busted, then life has gotten easier for journalists, the question is, has it gotten better? In the Andrew Sullivan incident, the citation for pot possession is in itself trivial; it's a third-rate bust. What is potentially serious is the burden that it places on Sullivan himself. Who can blame others if they believe he now acquired a debt of gratitude towards the US Attorney and his bosses? Who can blame the bosses of the US Attorney for thinking they now have a marker on Sullivan they can call in some day? And worst of all, who can blame those who think that justice is after all, not blind: that some are more equal than others? None of these forebodings are necessarily valid. I don't know if calls were made or favors were asked. Come to that, I never actually saw what was inside the envelopes I watched handed out at press conference. For all I really know all they contain is empty air. But it's the doubt that corrodes. -- Belmont Club サ Quid

Posted by Vanderleun at September 12, 2009 9:39 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

"You cannot hope to bribe or twist

"(Thank God!) the British journalist.

"But, seeing what the man will do

"Unbribed, there's no occasion to."

—Humbert Wolfe

Posted by: Rich Fader at September 12, 2009 2:16 PM

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