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Re: CDT complains to my editors after post to cypherpunks

On Fri, 26 Sep 1997, Declan McCullagh wrote:

> [CDT's Jonah Seiger copied this message to my editors. I'm still waiting
> for him to answer my questions. --Declan]

Maybe they can't distinguish Declan as journalist and Declan as online
debate participant (for lack of a better term).  Since I know of nothing
wrong with your reporting, either in accuracy, or in usefullness your
editors should know this and I would hope they would keep you on. 

If there is a cardinal virtue for a journalist it is to have active
opinions, but to keep them out when assigned to report facts.  But in
other venues, they should be free to express those opinions.

The original post appeared not to be from Declan in his capacity as a
journalist (he is free to correct me).  I assume that if it was part of
his assignment to ask this, he would have called.

> If you are curious about what it is about your style that bothers CDT so
> much, start with this hostile, accusitory message posted to a public list
> (in this case, cypherpunks).
> This message is not a question -- it's an attack.  It assumes the answer
> before it's asked, and it's nothing more than read meat thrown to a hungry
> crowd.
> If you have questions about how we set up the site, or how we feel about
> the results of Wednesday's Commerce Committee vote, all you have to do is
> contact us.  We will be happy to talk to you.  This is the way every other
> journalist we work with operates.

I have seen far worse attacks (literal, not simply asking hard questions)
by other participants here, as well as defenses.  I don't see the CDT
calling their employers or customers and complaining or praising. 

I too am interested in the answers to the questions.  I don't think
Markey-White is good (I see nothing intrinsically pro-privacy), but I
don't think it is a disaster unless it is simply the first step toward
Oxley or something as bad.  It is controversial, so to label it
pro-privacy or pro-censorship requires at least a defense of the position
- and I have heard Declan's side and tend to agree with him.

And the answers are important.  If the CDT thinks that Markey-White is a
useful compromise (i.e. they value lifting the export ban more than the
problems with the extra rules), they should say so, but that is different
from saying that Markey-White is pro-privacy.