The Wall Street Journal basically plays a big game of“my kink is a fetish, your kink is porn” with this piece:
Mr. Ellsberg himself has recently denounced the “myth” of the “good” Pentagon Papers as opposed to the “bad” WikiLeaks. But the real myth is that the two disclosures are the same.
The Pentagon Papers revelations dealt with a discrete topic, the ever-increasing level of duplicity of our leaders over a score of years in increasing the nation’s involvement in Vietnam while denying it. It revealed official wrongdoing or, at the least, a pervasive lack of candor by the government to its people.
WikiLeaks is different. It revels in the revelation of “secrets” simply because they are secret. It assaults the very notion of diplomacy that is not presented live on C-Span. It has sometimes served the public by its revelations but it also offers, at considerable potential price, a vast amount of material that discloses no abuses of power at all.
This is something I noticed a lot back in the early days of blogging, and still do see quite a bit of: The general disdain for passionate pursuit of a story, and the arguing of demeanor versus actual, you know, stuff. What WikiLeaks is doing might be okay if it didn’t “revel” in it, roll around in it like a dog in the snow.
If only everyone were completely serious, like that nice fellow Mr. Ellsberg, and very very quiet, and didn’t wave a big foam finger around. Then everything might be fine. Note that the concept of opposing government secrecy on any level just because is seen as revelling in destroying America. As opposed to a legitimate disclosure of information that, to Floyd Abrams at least, is critial to understanding just what the blue hell is going on.
But WikiLeaks offers no articles of its own, no context of any of the materials it discloses, and no analysis of them other than assertions in press releases or their equivalent. As Princeton historian Sean Wilentz told the Associated Press earlier this month, WikiLeaks seems rooted in a “simpleminded idea of secrecy and transparency,” one that is “simply offended by any actions that are cloaked.”
Well, yes. Because it isn’t WikiLeaks’ job to be anything other than what WikiLeaks’ owner wants it to be. Bashing WikiLeaks for not analyzing the government documents it discloses is like telling me I’m a crappy figure skater. It’s not my job to know how to do a triple lutz. If it was, I’d be better at it. The task of the New York Times in the case of the Pentagon Papers was to analyze, provide articles and give people a greater understanding of what Ellsberg gave them.
Same as the Times’ job (and that of the Post, and the Trib, and the Wall Street Journal) would be here, if we weren’t all so freaking busy covering how very bad and dirty and filthy WikiLeaks makes us feel.