For freedom of the press to be more than a promise and for the public to be kept informed about the doings of its government, especially the doings that the government does not want known, reporters must be able to pursue the news wherever it takes them. One of the most valuable tools they have is the ability to protect the names of confidential sources — people who provide vital information at the risk of their jobs, their careers and sometimes even their lives.
Now I'd like to pick a couple nits here, this is an example of big business hiding behind the BOR that it does not support. The First Amendment is not the be all and end all of the BOR, it is quite an important part, that would be why it has first place, it is however followed by second place, which would be the Second Amendment this paper regularly attacks. That's some truly odd behavior, especially when they're advocating expanding an Amendment.
Then there's the little issue of "Free Press" which is a nice appellation for a business worth more than most of us can comprehend. Well, they did quit hiding behind "Times Select" by taking the subscription price off it, but quite frankly the New York Times is big business, run as one and managed by people about completely divorced from the reality of half this nation's population.
As for the things the government does not want known, how about the things it wants published? We could ask all kinds of pointed questions about Judith Miller and propagandizing. We could as even more questions about who benefited from that propagandizing?
Then we run right square into the use of confidential sources to spread information that has not squat to do with improving the public's level of information, but rather the spread of scandal and 'disinformation.' It would unfair to level these charges without noting the publishing of the stories regarding secret CIA prisons and other actual services provided by the NYT. But when a balance is called for, it begins to look like a narrow thing. The war in Iraq that they now oppose was the beneficiary of their cheerleading, even in the face of actual competitors calling it into question - Knight Ridder (McClatchy) was a competitor, it was time then to take a serious look at their stance; and they did not.
Here's the crunch, they're big enough and wealthy enough to ignore the small fry (KR wasn't that small) and call the ordinary citizens cretins for figuring they'd like to own their right, that's the Second Amendment, the one that allows regular ordinary people to own arms. Ordinary people don't own and run newspapers (blogs don't count), ordinary people's free speech involves talking to neighbors, blogging, writing letters, and small campaign donations, not access to media, not multi-million dollar advertising campaigns, not multi-million dollar lobbying activities. Ordinary folks might actually have their religions, depending on which theocratic version of the BOR finally shakes out and how theocratic this country is driven. You can't count on your house or belongings being secure from unreasonable search and seizure, ask a certain Portland OR attorney. In fact what you can count on is that the current regime won't try to house soldiers in your house.
So there you are, what you can be sure of is the fact that you own arms, you are not helpless in the face of the government when you finally get real tired of their crap. (unless you live in a couple Constitutionally deprived cities) Oh I know all about the futility of facing down an armored division with a handful of hunting rifles, I also know just how dangerous they actually are for a government, and Iraq gives a pretty illustrative example of an unhappy armed populace and the ensuing chaos. Even the plutocrats are having a tough time raping that country.
In the end run, the NYT can stuff their 'entitlement' to special consideration in the face of the law, I don't get it, they can tough it out. I can't stand on anything if the government wants to ask me questions about how I found something out, that big business entity can play by the same rules; you think it's important enough, you tell Sammy to take a hike and do the jail time, or make a fight of it. Oh, the fight part of it would involve arms...