Benefits of a Congressional resolution scolding the NY Times

Over the weekend some conservatives began batting around an idea: Congress, both the House and the Senate, should draft resolutions expressing their disapproval of the the NY Times decision to run a story outing the existence of a classified anti-terrorism program.

Hugh Hewitt, in a conversation with Bill Kristol, got the ball rolling:

The irresponsibility of the New York Times and Los Angeles Times combined with the arrogance of their management in refusing to be available to anyone concerning their decisions puts the burden on Congress to act.

Not, of course, with a law curtailing press freedom, which would be unconstitutional and opposed by any friend of the Constitution.

But rather, as Bill Kristol and I just spent a segment discussing, with House and Senate Resolutions –preferably drafted, debated and voted on next week– expressing outrage at the endangering of national security via the publication of sensitive national security information that obviously assists terrorists in eluding capture or killing.

Perhaps the papers would find some supporters among the congressmen and senators, but I believe that a strongly worded condemnation of the papers’actions would pass, and would as Bill argued, send the message that it isn’t the Bush Adminsitration the papers are defying, but the legislative branch as well.

Kristol then touted the idea over the weekend on the panel segment of Fox News Sunday.

Aside from the above arguments, there is another reason that this idea is worth following up on. Right now in the Senate conservatives are facing a dilemma. The Senate will be in session this week, and then out for a week of recess over the July 4th holiday. After that week, they will return for a three week run up to August recess.

This week is supposed to be consumed with a flag burning amendment and a half-loaf death tax compromise. How to fill the remaining three weeks is up in the air. Their are some outstanding legislative items, but their is worry amongst some conservatives on the hill that those items are not time consuming enough to fill all three weeks — leaving a window of perhaps a few days of free floor time.

Free floor time more often than not means mischief.

One particularly worrisome agenda item that could consume that floor time would be a stem cell research package. This package would force the President to veto a politically popular bill because of his adamant pro-life stand. The veto would become the big story heading into August, and would likely shift the abortion debate from being about fully formed unborn children — a la partial birth abortion — to being about dehumanized cells — a la stem cells. It is a political disaster waiting to happen.

Why not ensure that that floor time is not available? Granted, that would mean the Majority Leader has to acquiesce and forego his stated desire to pass the anti-pro life stem cell legislation, but I think Bill Frist may be inclined to do that in order to avoid splitting his caucus.

Schedule debate this week on a NY Times Sense of the Senate resolution, and eat up a few days. A win win…

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds’ response to NY Times Editor Bill Keller today is a must read. Reynolds:

A deeper error is Keller’s characterization of freedom of the press as an institutional privilege, an error that is a manifestation of the hubris that has marked the NYT of late. Keller writes: “It’s an unusual and powerful thing, this freedom that our founders gave to the press. . . . The power that has been given us is not something to be taken lightly.”

The founders gave freedom of the press to the people, they didn’t give freedom to the press. Keller positions himself as some sort of Constitutional High Priest, when in fact the “freedom of the press” the Framers described was also called “freedom in the use of the press.” It’s the freedom to publish, a freedom that belongs to everyone in equal portions, not a special privilege for the media industry.

12 Responses to “Benefits of a Congressional resolution scolding the NY Times”

  1. M. Corbin Says:

    Good! Make sure this happens. Keep up the good work.

  2. The Anchoress » Keller is well-pummeled; you don’t need me! Says:

    […] Rep. Peter King is calling for the Times to be prosecuted, which will never happen. This investigation will get more credence and serious consideration than any charge against the Times. That’s a problem, of course. The press have been running around like little high-priests, unanswerable to anyone, for too long. Tim Chapman thinks a congressional resolution might be a start. […]

  3. Korla Pundit Says:

    I notice how the Times was all bent out of shape about the alleged outing of Valerie Plame, and blew that all out of proportion, but the outing of an entire intelligence program is of no consequence in their eyes.

    Anything to hurt “Bush’s War” I guess.

  4. TallDave Says:

    Hey, the secrecy of our non-covert agents whose cover consists of nonexistent front companies and who drive to CIA’s Langley headquarters in plain view every day to sit behind a desk sending their husbands out to go on public trips to Africa, write NYT op-eds and books, and make the rounds of TV shows is of UTMOST importance to national security.

    This whole “catching terrorists” business is just a sideshow. The two aren’t remotely comparable.

  5. Says:

    The Treasonous Times Must Be Prosecuted!

    The New York Times has once again escalated its Journalistic Jihad against the American people, proving beyond all doubt that the Times’ personal interests violently clash with America’s public interest. On Friday, the NY Times broke the story of Ame…

  6. arthur carlson Says:

    The NYT has committed treason….for the second time. As did the Washington Post with the Dana Priest revelations.

    Is there an action that a collection of citizens can take independently of the Justice Department which may or may not decide to prosecute the “leakers” of classified information.

    The billions of tax dollars for the NSA surveillance and the associated costs with the ever developing spy systems are rendered useless by the MSM and their agents who have vowed to protect our secrets.

    We are the ones that pay these enormous costs for our safety and that or our children and neighbors. We/ve been damaged financially as well as losing the comforts and security that we’ve paid for.

    Where is the justice. How can we gain that justice? That’s the question that requires a grassroots effort. Let us begin

  7. Blind Mind’s Eye » New York Times’s patriotism declared questionable, film at 11 Says:

    […] Tim Chapman Blog. […]

  8. William Grubb Says:

    Congratulations to anyone who cancels a subscription to the NYT. Unfortunately, that is not what you will hear from talk radio, conservative papers, conservatives on cable and large parts of conservative blogs. Yes, they will say the New York Times (which is primarily responsible for breaking this story at NYT Online) is far kooky Left, irresponsibly ideological and even treasonous. But even conservative outlets are still part of the media and they will not suggest that I cancel my subscription, that I boycott those who advertise in this liberal rag or patronize and encourage those who will not (i.e. GM). Why read or listen to someone rail on about the NYT if there is nothing they propose to do about it? This should provoke a massive fallout led by media conservatives, but people in glass houses … Also, a majaroty of NYT readers are liberals who do not care or are oblivious to this.

    However, advertisers are apolitical and do care very much when customers are offended. A boycott of NYT ad sponsors or even a serious threat of this would get the attention of people who can end the NYT’s war against the War on Terror.

  9. » Blog Archive » So…about that resolution Says:

    […] I completely agree. Why the hesitation to debate such a resolution? Does Congress not have a voice on this issue? As the elected representatives of the American people you would think Congress might want to weigh in on the NY Times decision to endanger the lives of congressional constituents and damage the ability of our government to wage the war on terrorism. This does not seem to be something that you need to wait for polling on… […]

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  12. balcony chair outdoor Says:

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    Nice speech. I�m curious how it went over.

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