Saturday, June 25, 2011

Earlier this week New York Times reporter Jose Antonio Vargas revealed that he's an illegal alien. Jack Shafer, editor at large of Slate, responded to the news:
[R]eporter-editor relationships are based on trust. A news organization can’t function if editors must constantly cross-examine their reporters in search of deliberate lies. I’m more disturbed with Vargas for lying to the Washington Post Co. (which—disclosure alert!—employs me) than I am about him breaking immigration law. His lies to the Post violated the compact that makes journalism possible.
Mark Krikorian is rightly scornful:
So, apparently the employer-employee relationship is not “based on trust.” Or the police-citizen relationship. Apparently, journalism is special, a place where trust and truth are more important because journalism is more important. Shafer doesn’t mind if illegal aliens lie to the police, lie to their employers, lie to the DMV, lie to immigration authorities, lie to Social Security, lie to the Secret Service, lie to their schools, landlords, banks, etc., etc., etc. But lying to the Fourth Estate? The Guarantors of Democracy? The bulwark against greedy capitalists and fascistic police? Who does Vargas think he is?