Henican Forgets There's a War On - Pinkerton Reminds Him

In their heart of hearts, do the liberal media believe we are at war? The answer is a resounding 'no', judging by liberal Newsday columnist Ellis Henican's performance on this morning's Fox & Friends Weekend. Thankfully, fellow Newsday columnist Jim Pinkerton was there to remind his colleague of some cold, hard facts.

The topic was the Justice Department's investigation into the leaks behind the New York Times' publication of the highly-classified program of NSA surveillance of possible Al-Qaeda-related phone calls. Henican appeared utterly unfazed by the way the Times' revelations undermined national security and the fight against terrorism. His overwhelming focus was on the possible infringement of civil liberties. He brushed off the security leak in these terms:

"Frankly I'm much more interested in the government spying perhaps illegally on American citizens than trying to blame the people who revealed and told the truth about it. We see another example of trying to turn the attention onto the messenger and blame the people who stood up and told Americans what they need to know instead of those who are doing something that at the very least was highly questionable."

Pinkerton scored a direct hit with this response:

"There's also the issue of course of telling Al-Qaeda what they need to know."

Bada-bing!

Although Pinkerton's bullseye seemed to momentarily rock Henican, in no time he was back to his one-sided view of the struggle, in which the only real concern is for civil liberties, even at the price of intentionally undermining secret government security programs.

Henican: "Without confidential sources investigative reporters can't do their work."

Pinkerton reminded Henican of the flip-side of that formulation: "Without confidential methods, government can't do its work."

Henican could care less:

"[The government's] job is to keep the secret, our job is to tell the truth."

So, even in a time of war, Henican views the media as the government's antagonist on national security matters. Wonder how, during WWII, the administration of liberal-icon FDR would have dealt with a Henican trying to undermine secret programs aimed at the enemy?

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.