Friday, July 01, 2005

Et tu, Tempus?

With so much Constitution-threatening action going on all around us, your blogstress finds herself a bit breathless as she tries to earn her keep as a prima pontificata. With bosom heaving, your cybertrix here notes her earlier failure to comment on the shameful actions of Time magazine in turning over documents that identify an heretofore confidential source to reporter Matt Cooper in the matter of Valerie Plame's "outing". You'll recall that Ms. Plame's status as a CIA operative was revealed to reporters, apparently by someone in the White House, as an apparent payback to Ms. Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who questioned the veracity of the Administration's claims regarding Sadam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction. Got that?

Anyway, Norman Pearlstine, Time Inc.'s top honcho, forked over Cooper's notes to the judge who demanded them, despite the fact that Cooper said he was willing to risk jail in order to protect his source.

There is no excuse for any journalist making such a betrayal of a source and, in refusing to see the matter to the bitter end, Time has set a precedent that imperils the future of a free press. Joe Strupp of Editor & Publisher magazine makes that case here.

Media as the government's lapdog; how despicable. I suppose we're supposed to settle for the amusement of learning who in the White House leaked--"the big reveal," as they say on HGTV. Hope it's somebody good.

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Does the Constitution live?

Your blogstress, in her distress over the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, has penned a piece for The American Prospect Online on just what women stand to lose with O'Connor's farewell.

O'Connor has rendered her share of troubling decisions pertaining to women's rights--most notably, her opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the case that greatly broadened states' rights to restrict abortion rights. But, ironically, she may be largely responsible for the fact that Roe v. Wade, however weakened, remains in effect. And she has certainly proven herself to be a tigress when it comes to protecting women from sexual harassment in the workplace.

But her most significant achievement of all may be that, in her sometimes counterintuitive opinions, she became the very embodiment of the living Constitution--an entity that at least two of the currently seated justices would like to kill.

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O'Connor resigns
A bad day for women

With all of the speculation concerning an anticipated resignation on the Supreme Court, today's announcement by Sandra Day O'Connor came as something as a surprise. The focus had been on the frail-looking Chief Justice William Rehnnquist, who is suffering from thyroid cancer.

Given the fact that O'Connor, the high court's "swing" voter, will doubtless be replaced by a hard-rightie, today signals a dark day for women. By feminist standards, O'Connor's voting record was far from perfect, but she has helped to keep Roe v. Wade from being overturned in its entirety, and joined the decision that made sexual harassment an illegal form of discrimination. Soon, we may find ourselves saying good-bye to all that.

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