Commentary

Maybe summoning the press before Parliament isn’t such a bad idea

By Edward Wasserman  Alan Rusbridger, editor of London’s Guardian, faced off with British legislators last week about his newspaper’s publishing secrets about official surveillance that were leaked by the fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden. Press advocates weren’t pleased. Carl Bernstein, the Watergate-era star who’s on the Mount Rushmore of 20th century media heroes, certainly […]

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Jean-Paul Jassy

Climate change on trial in a defamation case

COMMENTARY BY JEAN-PAUL JASSY/ A modern-day Scopes Monkey Trial is unfolding in a District of Columbia defamation case. In 1925, two of the most famous lawyers of the time, Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, argued over whether John T. Scopes should have been prosecuted for teaching evolution in public school. Scopes was convicted and […]

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: Media Heroism Turned Its Head --Photo: B. Manning

Media heroism turned on its head: The real Manning scandal

BY EDWARD WASSERMAN–In media mythology, the years from the mid-‘60s to the mid-’70s were the classical age, a heroic time of moral clarity. Mainstream journalism marinated in adversarialism. Little Southern newspapers infuriated their own readers by staring down segregation. Foreign correspondents forced upon an unwilling public the realities of a brutal war. Network news ignored […]

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Instead of delays at all airports, let’s sequester Congress and shut down the airports serving D.C.

BY PETER SCHEER–U.S. aviation officials are warning of severe flight delays due to furloughs of air traffic controllers triggered by the sequester’s across-the-board budget cuts. I have a better idea. Instead of furloughing controllers across the country, the Federal Aviation Administration should just shut down all major airports for the nation’s capital: Reagan National, Dulles […]

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For Obama’s Nominee to Head CIA: a Few Questions on Use of Drone Strikes

BY PETER SCHEER—John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee for Director of the CIA, has the bad luck of having to testify before Congress just days after publication of a Justice Department “white paper” containing the administration’s legal justification for the targeted killing of high-level Al Qaeda members who are also American citizens. The undated and unsigned white […]

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Mark Zuckerberg introduces Facebook's Graph Search

Facebook’s New Graph Search Is Google’s Nightmare Come True

By PETER SCHEER–Although the stock market yawned at Facebook’s announcement of “Graph Search,” its new search service, with investors wagering it would only hurt smaller, vertical search services like Yelp and Linkedin, the truth is that it is potentially much more significant than that. For the last several years Google’s management has had two nightmares. […]

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Google's Antitrust Wrist Slap Is Right Result for Wrong Reason

Google’s Antitrust Wrist Slap Is Right Result for Wrong Reason. Right Reason: Google Search Results are Protected Speech

By PETER  SCHEER–Christmas 2013 came early for Google as the Federal Trade Commission, following a two-year investigation into allegations of anticompetitive practices, announced a settlement that spares Google a battle royal with the government over its core business: the selection and presentation of search results. Although the FTC extracted concessions from Google in other areas, […]

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Patent Lawsuits Blindside Consumers

Consumers blindsided by secret settlements in hi-tech patent lawsuits

By Peter Scheer—Apple recently announced that it had reached a global settlement of its patent disputes with HTC, a producer of smartphones using Android, the Google-owned operating system for phones and tablets that compete head-on with Apple’s phones and tablets. Although this settlement, covering some 50 lawsuits, will have a direct impact–almost certainly painful–on millions […]

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How to sabotage California’s Public Records Act

By Peter Scheer—If you were looking for a way to sabotage America’s freedom-of-information laws, you couldn’t do much better than a legal strategy being pursued by government entities in two California towns. The public school district of Willows, in Glenn County, and the town of Sebastopol, near Petaluma, have been sued, in unrelated cases, for […]

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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

Most Wanted Secret Doc: Justice Dept Memo Analyzing Drone Strikes Against Suspected Terrorists

In the world of secret information about powerful people, there are two sets of documents in especially high demand right now. First are Mitt Romney’s undisclosed tax returns. You already know about those. The other is a classified legal memorandum, prepared by the Justice Department, analyzing the government’s legal authority to conduct targeted killings of […]

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