Monday, October 01, 2007

The Role of the Media

Here's a piece from Government Executive, on a speech by Hayden:
"CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden said he has "very deep respect for journalists and for their profession." But then he devoted a healthy chunk of his address to critiquing media coverage of the agency.

"Just as they report on the terrorists, it's the job of journalists to report on how the war against terrorism is being fought," Hayden said. "And when their spotlight is cast on intelligence activities, sound judgment and a thorough understanding of all the equities at play are critically important. Revelations of sources and methods, or what seems to me to be an impulse to drag anything CIA does to the darkest corner of the room, can make it very difficult for us to do our vital work."

I think the bureaucrats in many places would have similar complaints: Journalists don't understand the ins and outs, skip over the necessary tradeoffs, and focus and dragging things to "the darkest corner of the room". Is there an answer? No.

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