Jul
21
2010

Why Is the Erosion of the U.S. Constitution Mostly of Interest to Canadians?

The list of First Amendment-trampling rules for Guantanamo reporters makes for dispiriting reading in today's New York Times (7/21/10)–e.g., "If information the government deems protected is inadvertently disclosed, the Pentagon can order reporters not to reveal it."

But perhaps the most discouraging part of Jeremy Peters' article is the list of reporters who fell afoul of a rule requiring them to refrain from publishing "secrets" that have already been widely reported: "Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald, Michelle Shephard of the Toronto Star, Steven Edwards of Canwest and Paul Koring of the Globe and Mail in Toronto."

What do three of those four reporters have in common? That's right, they report for Canadian outlets. While it's nice that our neighbors to our north are taking in an interest in our government's ongoing efforts to find a way around our Constitution's protections for criminal suspects, it would be much nicer if U.S. outlets found the subject a high priority. But, reports Peters:

Of the few American newspapers that still cover the commissions, the Herald is the only one that sends a reporter to Guantánamo on a routine basis. "I only go down there because nobody else does–to report on a court that nobody else can see," [Rosenberg] said.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.