MEDIA

Washington Post's Edward Snowden Editorial Draws Incredulous Reaction

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 19:  A cardboard mask depicting Edward Snowden lies on the ground at a protest against the PRISM elect
BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 19: A cardboard mask depicting Edward Snowden lies on the ground at a protest against the PRISM electronic surveillance program, which was leaked by Snowden, on June 19, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. US President Barack Obama defended the program during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (Photo by Target Presse Agentur Gmbh/Getty Images)

The Washington Post's editorial board drew catcalls on Tuesday for calling for the leaks from Edward Snowden to be stopped--even though the Post itself had benefited from those leaks.

The editorial board, which is run independently of the news division, allowed that the scoops published by the Post and other outlets had "shed useful light on some NSA programs and raised questions that deserve debate." But, the board said, "The first U.S. priority should be to prevent Mr. Snowden from leaking information that harms efforts to fight terrorism and conduct legitimate intelligence operations ... The best solution for both Mr. Snowden and the Obama administration would be his surrender to U.S. authorities, followed by a plea negotiation."

The piece didn't mention that the Post had happily published some of Snowden's materials. Clearly, the thirst for those materials did not extend to every corner of the paper.

Gawker's Hamilton Nolan took the board to task, and noted the editorial's inherent irony:

Take note, potential leakers and whistleblowers inside the U.S. government: the official stance of the Washington Post's editorial board is that you should shut up and go to jail. Would-be Washington Post sources may wish to take that information into consideration when choosing where to leak to.

The reaction on Twitter was equally incredulous:

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