Squelching the News in Democracy's Name

When the White House, via National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, requested recently that the networks not air any future unedited videos of Osama bin Laden, the broadcast media's top managers meekly complied. "Thanks to the White House and its high-level courtiers in the media, we Americans -- or those of us without the proper hardware -- are now the only people in the whole developed world who can't actually hear what our enemy is saying about us. That's an odd distinction, considering we are also his main targets," writes Mark Crispin Miller. "Although it was the terrorists who brought on this climate of official hostility to information, it is not they who are to blame for our surrender to it. With their box-cutters and barbaric zeal, they wrought destruction on our lives, property, and economy. But they could not hurt America's democracy. That is something that Americans alone can do."