On “Larry King Live” Monday night, intrepid reporter Bob Woodward (on the air to tout his Me ‘N’ Deepthroat book, “The Secret Man”) offered to serve some of Judy Miller’s four months of jail time for the principle of the thing. He urged others who believe in a free press to serve her time, as well.
Why? Because Miller is gallantly fighting for all reporters’ rights. Yeah, right, Bob, and Robert Novak has just been named the Edward R. Murrow Professor of Journalistic Ethics at the Poynter Institute.
Here is the transcript from the portion of the show:
WOODWARD: No. Clearly, we’re not above the law. But frequently, people disobey the law. And when you do so, you have to be willing to accept the consequences. And in this case, the consequences, I guess, are a four-month jail sentence, and Judy Miller’s willing to do that, to stand on this principle of trust. You know, I…
KING: You said you would have done it, too?
WOODWARD: I would have done it, too. And in fact, you know, maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I will …
KING: Go ahead.
WOODWARD: … because it came to mind: If the judge would permit it, I would go serve some of her jail time, because I think the principle is that important, and it should be underscored. It’s not a casual idea that we have confidential sources. It is absolutely vital. And I’ll bet there are all kinds of reporters out there, if we could divvy up this four-month jail sentence — I suspect the judge would not permit that, but if he would, I’ll be first in line. It’s that important to our business.
And this book and Watergate demonstrated, the daily reporting in any newspaper or on CNN illustrates that. And what are you going to do? Are you going to interview all of the public relations people, all of the spokespeople, and that’s it? No one else can talk? Imagine, you know, the varnished pablum that would come out.
KING: We do need our Woodwards.
I agree, Larry. We do need our Woodwards — in jail!
Like Miller, who’s serving time to protect Karl Rove, Woodward (whose previous book on the Bush mis-administration was hailed for the “inprecedented access” Bobby was given to interview top Bush officials for “Bush at War”) is too dumb to see he’s been “Roved,” too. “Varnished pablum” indeed!