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No Lee Way

Slate's Jack Shafer is pretty much on the money in yesterday's column about the media's decision to pay "walk away money" to resolve the Wen Ho Lee mess. It's a Pyrrhic victory at best -- one with long-term implications for the newsgathering biz. Last August, I wrote this Phoenix piece warning that the this Lee case could be more worrisome to First Amendment advocates than the Judy Miller-Scooter Libby drama. (Of course, the common theme in both cases -- involving confidential sources -- is that the neither of these episodes exactly represented the news media's finest hour, reportorially speaking.)

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