War on the messengers *

Reporters Matt Cooper of Time and Judith Miller of the New York Times go to court today to be sentenced for contempt in the Valerie Plame affair. It's quite likely we'll have the spectacle of American journalists who didn't break any news going to jail for not disclosing confidential sources to a government grand jury, in a case dripping with politics. Former USA Today political columnist Walter Shapiro, a friend of both, gives his take today at the Huffington Post and reminds everyone that the only substantive leak in the case was reported by conservative columnist Robert Novak, not the reporters facing jail. Conservative William Safire writes in today's NYT that "the Supreme Court has just flinched from its responsibility to stop the unjust jailing of two journalists - not charged with any wrongdoing - by a runaway prosecutor" and calls on Novak to come clean. Miller launched a website this week to press the public opinion side of her case. Robert Drogin of the L.A. Times could be next. A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Drogin and three other journalists can be held in contempt for not revealing their sources in stories about Wen Ho Lee.

* Update: Decision delayed until next Wednesday after Time says it may consider turning over Cooper's notes.


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