RUSH: Have you heard about what’s going on with Wen Ho Lee? This is a fascinating story. Wen Ho Lee, from the Los Alamos nuclear facility, was falsely accused of spying for the ChiComs. This was during the Clinton administration. The Clinton administration leveled charges against him, prosecuted him. The judge in the case offered an apology to Mr. Lee. He sent me his book. Wen Ho Lee sent me his book, and it starts out with that apology from the judge talking about what a serious miscarriage of justice was perpetrated against him by the United States government. I don’t know if it’s unprecedented, but it’s very rare, and this judge was really pointed and he leveled at the government for what they had done to Wen Ho Lee.
Well, Wen Ho Lee then went out and sued. He sued newspaper organizations, some television networks, and the federal government. (story) “A decision by five major news organizations to pay $750,000 to a nuclear scientist named in news stories as the target of an espionage investigation is prompting warnings that the unusual payment could embolden others aggrieved by government leaks and lead to more litigation involving the press. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, ABC, and the Associated Press announced Friday that they agreed to the settlement in order to end litigation brought by the former scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Wen Ho Lee. ‘The implications of this are just staggering,’ a former executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Jane Kirtley, said in an interview yesterday.
“‘I think this is blood money that has been paid here.’ As part of the settlement, the federal government also agreed to pay $895,000 to Lee to cover his legal costs in pursuing the case. Ms. Kirtley said the payment from the news outlets was troubling because none of the news organizations or journalists were named as defendants in Lee’s lawsuit, which accused the federal officials of violating a 1974 law, the Privacy Act. The reporters were held in contempt in the case after they refused to identify their confidential sources for stories about Lee. ‘The justice of this escapes me,’ Ms. Kirtley said of the payment. ‘It’s the most creative way I’ve seen so far to do an end run around constitutional protections and get money anyway through this collateral attack.’ She said the deal could encourage litigation and demands for payment in connection with mundane reports on hospital statements about those injured in crimes and accidents.”
Now, this article is in the New York Sun today. It’s by Josh Gerstein. I have to tell you something, folks, the whole article sounds really panicky — and with good reason. Maybe the drive-bys will start thinking twice before using their newsprint and their airwaves to destroy the lives of people who are unjustly accused of things. See, this is how in the past I’ve always told you this: “If you’re a journalism student and you want to rise to the top or you’re a young journalist working at a little Podunk newspaper, Podunk TV station, go out and destroy somebody and that’s how you get noticed, because you are speaking truth to power or whatever this cockeyed phrase is.”
Remember Richard Jewell (Best of The Rush Limbaugh The TV Show)? He was totally destroyed in the media after the FBI went after him as a person of interest, even though they had no proof. The man’s life was ruined (story). The media joyfully aided and abetted that. Same with the Steven Hatfill guy, the scientist accused of sending anthrax to various places in Washington. Maybe they will learn how to report news at the Drive-By Media. Ah, I’m dreaming. Why do I even say these things? It will never happen. Now, this was the Clinton administration that leveled charges. The sources that the Drive-By Media used in the nineties to go out and falsely accuse Wen Ho Lee came from the Clinton administration, and so now the news organizations have had to pay.
Scooter Libby’s request for media testimony and documents. He’s getting some, but not nearly all of what he wants. The judge is being very protective of the media in that case. But this is a godsend because it’s about time that there was accountability. Since the Drive-By Media will not practice its own internal accountability — and it has to since it has constitutional protection, First Amendment protection, free speech, blah, blah, all that, until McCain-Feingold II, if the media screws McCain in the upcoming campaign, you watch, they’ll try to restrict them even more during campaigns because he’s a vindictive guy if they turn on him because he thinks that they are his base. This is a welcome sign. When you read this whole story, you can just read the panic in Jane Kirtley’s comments about (Oh, no!) what could this portend?
It’s about time the Drive-By Media got a little dose of what it does to people so they can find out what it’s like. They go out and systematically try to destroy somebody’s reputation and any time something is done along the lines of trying to hold them accountable or harm their reputation, they hold up their hand: “You can’t touch us. We’re journalists!” You know, they go out, you can research anybody’s past, find out what they did in high school, what they did in college, publish it in a big profile. Go out and try to dig up the same kind of dirt about a journalist and let the journalist find out about it and you have a sheer panic on your hand, journalists.
“You can do that! I’m a journalist! Why, I’m just the messenger.”
No, you’re more than the messenger. You’re an agent. You’re an agent with an agenda and it’s time you were exposed. It’s not a two-way street with them. They want to be insulated from the same analysis and examination that they engage in with other people.
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