I’m sure your mother taught you not to read other people’s letters or eavesdrop on their conversations. My mother did.
“Listeners never hear good of themselves,” she used to say.
Everyone has a right to privacy. It’s spelled out in the United States Constitution. All Americans should be protected from snoops who pry into their private correspondence.
Especially when their privacy is invaded by a hostile foreign power. Like Russia.
By publishing the hacked emails provided by WikiLeaks, the media are complicit in a crime. And their crime is not just invasion of privacy but sedition.
They are abetting a hostile power’s illegal acts designed to undermine America’s democratic process.
I suppose the media will respond by citing the First Amendment. But I think that’s a stretch.
As a Supreme Court chief justice once said, nobody has the right to shout “fire!” falsely in a crowded theater. The First Amendment has limits. And it certainly does not protect criminal activity.
I suppose the media might say that publishing John Podesta’s emails is in the public interest. But they should know better. These are not official correspondence but the private emails of a political strategist.
And the disclosures have offered very little to justify their publication. As Matt Bai, one of my favorite reporters, observes in a Yahoo News article today:
So far we’ve learned that Clinton was nervously eyeing Elizabeth Warren. And that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was a minor irritant to the campaign. And that Neera Tanden, another Clinton adviser, once got mad at David Axelrod. And that Bill Clinton throws tantrums. And so on.
The big headline is: Campaign strategists often participate in discussions about campaign strategy, and sometimes they bicker like children. Also, courtesy of the New York Post, we’ve learned that a top aide at the Clinton Foundation may have been depressed, because everyone needed to know that.
The public titillation over those hacked emails is shameful. The fact that the media are giving the public access to stolen private correspondence is criminal.