Jewish World Review May 11, 2004 / 20 Iyar 5764

Dan Abrams

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

It wasn't improper for Gen. Myers to ask CBS to delay the release of the prisoner abuse pictures | In some aggressive questioning of Secretary Rumsfeld in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Democratic Senator Mark Dayton of Minnesota accused the secretary and the Joint Chiefs chairman, General Myers, of suppressing speech by calling CBS and asking them to postpone a little bit. They wanted to air the disturbing photos they had obtained. General Myers said American troops were engaged in particularly vicious fighting and he was concerned that releasing the photos at that time could be particularly troublesome for U.S. troops. CBS agreed to wait and ultimately aired the photos two weeks later.

There's nothing wrong with that. There's no suggestion that CBS was threatened or coerced. Government officials call leaders of media operations all the time. The most well known example was when President Kennedy called "The New York Times," asking it to refrain from revealing that the U.S was about to invade Cuba. The "Times" agreed.

General Myers seemed to recognize that the release of the pictures was inevitable considering how many hundreds of the pictures apparently exist— remember, taken by soldiers, not members of the media. He just wanted extra time. As long as the media operation is making the final call, that's not suppression. In fact, we encourage them to offer input. And remember, we often don't report information that officials say could or would put U.S. troops in harm's way, like troop movements, for example. There's nothing undemocratic about a general making a phone call.

Donate to JWR

Every weekday publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Dan Abrams anchors “The Abrams Report,” Monday through Friday from 9-10 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV. He also covers legal stories for “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Today” and “Dateline NBC.” To visit his website, click here. Comment by clicking here.



© 2004, MSNBC