When it comes to gladly broadcasting secrets that are detrimental to the United States and the safety of the men and women who serve it, the mainstream media now remind me of the joke about the New York Times cover page as it would have appeared before the Revolutionary War if the news organization had the mindset that it does now:

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Instances of the media gladly reporting U.S. secrets that could actually, ultimately, and ironically, lead to the demise of the free press (which reporters actually used to be smart enough to realize) seems to be increasing in numbers over the years. “American first, reporter second” is a credo that is on the verge of extinction in the free press, and as a result, the free press could be on the verge of extinction — and they don’t seem to get it.

The most recent was this ABC News report:

The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a “nonlethal presidential finding” that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran’s currency and international financial transactions.

I’d ask “whose side are they on, anyway?” But I think it’s apparent. I can think of no other industry like the “free American press” that is orchestrating its own demise with such skill and speed. What makes me say this? Because, so often, these “secrets” the U.S. press reports are to the benefit of the very people who, if they ever gain control in the U.S., will put the “free press” out of business (either career-wise or physically).

Consider the situation in Venezuela, which is run by the man who American leftists embrace as one of the best, most generous leaders in the world, Hugo Chavez. If many leftists (some in the mainstream media included) had their druthers, a guy like Chavez would make a great president of the United States.

We need look no further than Radio Caracas Television, a formerly private station in Venezuela, for proof of what will happen to the “free press” with a person like the glorious Hugo Chavez in charge. Hugo Chavez took over the station, shutting it down after he withdrew its license. Why? He didn’t like what they were saying about him.

This is the man who embraces ideals the American left would love to see more of in this country. If any of those people are in American news organizations, and I guarantee you there are some, what does that tell us about their intelligence level?

So isolated from reality has much of the mainstream media become that, when the day comes to pay the price for those they tipped off, it will actually come as a surprise.

Update: Here’s ABC’s excuse… I mean, reason, for going ahead with the report:

“In the six days since we first contacted the CIA and the White House, at no time did they indicate that broadcasting this report would jeopardize lives or operations on the ground. ABC News management gave them the repeated opportunity to make whatever objection they wanted to regarding our report. They chose not to.”

Sure. And what would the lead story have been if the Bush administration tried to convince ABC to not air the report? “Iron-booted Bush threatens free press, your right to know!”

(h/t Michael Greiner’s blog)

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