On Sunday’s “Meet the Press” on NBC, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman made the case that Fox News overstepped its bounds by revealing classified information about informants within North Korea. Friedman allowed that the Justice Department had also gone too far with its probe of Fox News Channel’s James Rosen.
Friedman called it “overreach” on both sides, and noted he was not alone in questioning the judgment of the cable news outlet in revealing that leak.
“I think what makes this case so interesting, David, is because I think there was overreach, maybe a little bit on both sides to some degree,” Friedman said. “Red lines were crossed. Clearly red lines were crossed at the Department of Justice, in effect criminalizing reporting.”
“At the same time, you look at that Fox report about North Korea and other people that I respect a lot — Walter Pincus and Jack Shafer have made this point and you do have to scratch your head about what was the news in there that justified leaking the fact that we had a source in the [North] Korea leadership,” he continued.
Friedman said the error in Rosen’s report was that although the revelation about North Korea was secret, that didn’t necessarily categorize it as news.
“It to me — clearly the DoJ went too far and you saw the president, I think, reflecting that,” Friedman added. “But I do think — I share David [Axelrod’s] view — we got to talk about this because not everything that is secret is news. What should be news is maleficence, misbehavior, lying — but not the fact that we have a source in the North Korean leadership.”