The Spin Zone

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It has been eye-opening to follow some of the testimony in the "Scooter"Libby trial about how the administration tried to control coverage.

OK, maybe not so eye-opening. We all know that the government, and industry, try to spin the news, have people whose job it is to put the best face on an ugly investigation, announce layoffs or firings late Friday afternoon so that it has the weekend to preferably get lost or at least have the edge taken off.

But when you hear about the calculations first-hand, it reminds you why journalists need to be vigilant and why they often seem to be abrasive if not obnoxious. The adversarial relationship with government, especially, is healthy.

The administration has vast power to shield itself, and us, from information. That's the reason we need a federal shield law, and the reason that journalists need to keep pushing back against efforts to classify more information in the name of national security.

By John Eggerton