Historically, whistleblowers have been provided with some protection by those organizations they provide data for, but one of the most successful at breaking stories that seemed impregnable has opted out of its obligation and has indulged in media madness. The Washington Post home to the reporters who used inside sources to break the story known as Watergate, received accolades and the Pulitzer Prize, along with The Guardian, The Intercept, and The New York Times for their reporting of the information made available by Edward Snowden. But The Washington Post, unlike the other media outlets breaking this major story, has called for a trial of Snowden instead of protecting him.
This is the height of cynicism – using the material Edward Snowden provided to win the Pulitzer Prize and then once achieving that prize turning on Snowden. If Snowden had followed a course that the Post’s non-approval would suggest, then the Post would have never won the Prize. It is possible if The Washington Post’s Editorial Board had made it clear to Snowden that they would not support him, it is possible Snowden would never have gone to that media outlet with the story. Media madness and totally corrupted.
“Three of the four media outlets that received and published large numbers of secret NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden — The Guardian, the New York Times, and The Intercept –– have called for the U.S. government to allow the NSA whistleblower to return to the U.S. with no charges. That’s the normal course for a news organization, which owes its sources duties of protection, and which — by virtue of accepting the source’s materials and then publishing them — implicitly declares the source’s information to be in the public interest.”
“But not the Washington Post. In the face of a growing ACLU and Amnesty-led campaign to secure a pardon for Snowden, timed to this weekend’s release of the Oliver Stone biopic “Snowden,” the Post editorial page today not only argued in opposition to a pardon, but explicitly demanded that Snowden — the paper’s own source — stand trial on espionage charges or, as a “second-best solution,” accept “a measure of criminal responsibility for his excesses and the U.S. government offers a measure of leniency.”
“In doing so, the Washington Post has achieved an ignominious feat in U.S. media history: the first-ever paper to explicitly editorialize for the criminal prosecution of its own source — one on whose back the paper won and eagerly accepted a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. But even more staggering than this act of journalistic treachery against the paper’s own source are the claims made to justify it.”
“The Post editors concede that one — and only one — of the programs that Snowden enabled to be revealed was justifiably exposed — namely, the domestic metadata program, because it “was a stretch, if not an outright violation, of federal surveillance law, and posed risks to privacy.” Regarding the “corrective legislation” that followed its exposure, the Post acknowledges: “We owe these necessary reforms to Mr. Snowden.” But that metadata program wasn’t revealed by the Post, but rather by The Guardian.”
“But what makes today’s Washington Post editorial so remarkable, such a tour de force, is that the editors are literally calling for the criminal prosecution of one of the most important sources in their own newspaper’s history. Having basked in the glory of awards and accolades, and benefited from untold millions of clicks, the editorial page editors of the Post now want to see the source who enabled all of that be put in an American cage and branded a felon. That is warped beyond anything that can be described.” https://theintercept.com/2016/09/18/washpost-makes-history-first-paper-to-call-for-prosecution-of-its-own-source-after-accepting-pulitzer/