In case you missed it, the New York Sun (a right-wing daily) broke the news last week that the New York Times had hired former special persecutor Kenneth Starr in its effort to quash subpoenas of reporters’ phone records. A federal prosecutor is searching for leaks that produced stories about national security issues.
Since Starr is a Republican darling, the Times undoubtedly figures he’s a good hire to oppose the Justice Department. The Sun made much of the fact that the Times editorial page was occasionally critical of Starr’s work in the Whitewater investigation. But Starr was far more friend to the Times than foe. The paper was a reliable conduit for his leaks and the paper, both in news columns and editorials, regularly suggested that Starr was onto something against the Clintons. Starr for darn sure doesn’t want any precedents set on forcing the Times to reveal government sources.