(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)
Yesterday’s L.A. Times story on the jailing of Judith Miller portrayed the issue on the front page as a “test of press freedoms,” and said:
U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan ordered Judith Miller, 57, imprisoned until she agreed to testify in an investigation into the naming of a CIA operative, declaring that the rights of journalists to gather news and protect confidential sources must occasionally yield to the power of prosecutors to demand testimony and investigate suspected crimes.
The article took until page A18, and the 25th paragraph, to tell us that Miller’s source
has given a general waiver permitting Miller to testify; the journalist has said she does not believe the waiver was signed voluntarily.
When considering whether Miller is a martyr for the protection of sources, isn’t it particularly relevant that the source has signed something saying the source doesn’t need protection?
People can debate whether Miller should have been jailed. But let’s not pretend that this is a black-and-white case where a journalist is protecting a source who clearly wishes to remain confidential, as the L.A. Times implies on page A1.