Buchanan: ‘There Is an Inherent Conflict of Interest Between Journalists and Whistleblowers’

On Thursday, the New York Times called for the Obama administration to enter into a plea bargain or offer clemency to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden in order to bring him back to the United States.

On PBS’s McLaughlin Group Friday, syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan observed during a discussion about this issue, “There is an inherent conflict of interest between journalists and so-called whistleblowers” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

PAT BUCHANAN: There is an inherent conflict of interest between journalists and so-called whistleblowers, or guys who put out secrets. Take Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. He could have gone to jail for 35 years and the New York Times gets a Pulitzer Prize for printing this stuff. Now there’s a real conflict of interest in terms of what is best for the country.

Readers are reminded that in 2006, Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau won Pulitzers for their report on domestic surveillance by the Bush administration.

That same year, the Washington Post's Dana Priest won a Pulitzer for her report on the CIA having top secret terrorist prisons overseas.

As such, there is indeed a long history of journalists getting coveted awards for publishing top secret information about this country.

More recently, almost as soon as the Snowden revelations were first published by The Guardian, calls began for Glenn Greenwald to receive a Pulitzer.

Conflict of interest indeed.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.