Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fox News journalist Bill McGowan: Paranoia club boss?

Fox News journalist Bill McGowan responded yesterday to recent arguments made by the New York Times reporter David E. Sanger. Sanger defended the newspaper's decision to publish WikiLeaks stories by concluding that "what we did was responsible, it was legal and it was important for a democratic society"

McGowan does not quite agree. Sure,he agrees that it was probably legal to publish the stories, but not so much on the other two issues:

"On Sanger's other two points, that The Times acted responsibly in publishing some of the leaked cables' contents and that doing so was good for democracy, the picture is much more ambiguous.


But for all the good these revelations about our allies and adversaries do, they come at high cost, largely by stripping away the veils that American diplomats need to conduct their business around the world, particularly against Islamic terrorism."

This argument would be all well and good if it actually made sense. Yet no one are willing to even touch the following question: What effect does McGowan and his censorship-pals think it would have if American newspapers did not write about the story? Would WikiLeaks realize they're beaten, apologize and stop publishing?

No, it seems as if McGowan misses the point that there are other countries, other newspapers that do a good job publishing these things. There's also, and a lot of other versions of that site. So even if American newspapers would not publish the information, it would still be out there.

The only actual effect of it would be that Americans won't have as easy access to it as they've used to. This situation mirrors the one people in China would face in case leaks that could be troublesome for that country, would happen. Chinese people really will have to struggle to get the information.

Are people like Bill McGowan really suggesting that the Chinese way is the better way? Bye, bye freedom, welcome paranoia?

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