Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Do as I say...

Ann Coulter is, much like Paul Krugman on the opposite end, a pundit at the edge of the political spectrum and thus usually best ignored except for humor value. And make no mistake, there is high humor value in their writing, even if it is unintentianl in the case of Krugman. But every once in a while we find, buried in the partisan/ideological bluster, a useful nugget. So it was with Coulter's column last week busting the New York Times for using the same kinds of tactics that the paper finds to be unacceptable when it comes to fighting terrorism, be they NSA interceptions of terrorist communications or using the Patriot Act to connect formerly invisible dots:

[December 19]'s Times carried a major expose on child molesters who use the Internet to lure their adolescent prey into performing sex acts for Webcams. In the course of investigating the story, reporter Kurt Eichenwald broke open a massive network of pedophiles, rescued a young man who had been abused for years, and led the Department of Justice to hundreds of child molesters.

I kept waiting for the catch, but apparently the Times does not yet believe pedophilia is covered by the "privacy right." They should stop covering politics and start covering more stories like this.

In order to report the story, the Times said it obtained:

copies of online conversations and e-mail messages between minors and the creepy adults;

records of payments to the minors;

membership lists for Webcam sites;

defunct sites stored in online archives;

files retained on a victim's computer over several years;

financial records, credit card processing data and other information;

The Neverland Ranch's mailing list. (OK, I made that last one up.)

Would that the Times allowed the Bush administration similar investigative powers for Islamofacists in America!

This kind of hypocrisy is hardly new for the Old Gray Lady; witness their contortions in trying to find a coherent way to protect themselves while still attacking the president in the Plame kerfuffle. They are nothing if not consistent.


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