Washington Post defends editorial calling for gov’t to stop Snowden leaks

The Washington Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt is defending the publication from charges of hypocrisy following a Tuesday editorial that argued for the Obama administration to negotiate with Edward Snowden in order to prevent government secret leaks.

“Documents published so far by news organizations have shed useful light on some NSA programs and raised questions that deserve debate, such as whether a government agency should build a database of Americans’ phone records,” Hiatt told Adweek. “Perhaps there we should have repeated that the primary organizations involved are the Post and the Guardian, but I think that is pretty well known, and in this context might have sounded like bragging if we had repeated the fact.”

He continued… “We also say the government should do its best to prevent the publication of information ‘that harms efforts to fight terrorism and conduct legitimate intelligence operations.’ It’s hard for me to imagine who could disagree with that proposition and, as I say, I don’t see any contradiction.”

The Post editorial was criticized for calling for a stop of government leaks by Snowden, an American fugitive hiding abroad, while omitting the fact that the Post is one of two news outlets to have originally published leaks from Snowden.

@eScarry