The Washington Post has quietly retreated from a legal battle with Vice President Cheney by dropping a lawsuit demanding Secret Service logs of visitors to his office and residence.
The newspaper's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit prompted a flurry of press attention and court action just prior to the November election. In October, a district court judge in the capital, Ricardo Urbina, cited the looming vote when he ordered the Secret Service to comply immediately with the Post's request. However, just six days before the election, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency stay blocking Judge Urbina's order.
"We have decided not to pursue litigation further, though we believe we would have prevailed in the court of appeals as we did in the trial court," a Post attorney, Eric Lieberman, said in an e-mail yesterday. He said the paper had "a fundamental goal" of getting the records to inform voters before the election and failed in that regard. "We also considered the fact that there are several other well positioned FOIA lawsuits seeking these same types of records, and we are confident that the public's right of access will ultimately be vindicated in them," Mr. Lieberman said.
What is the favorite complaint voiced by the dead-tree media about bloggers? That we're freeloaders who let them do the heavy lifting.
(Our complaint -- that they remain dense, sycophantic toadies -- remains undisturbed by this latest revelation.)
Oh, and our friends are losers on a pure dollars and cents basis, too:
The New York Times Co. posted a $648 million loss for the fourth quarter on Wednesday as it absorbed an $814.4 million charge to write down the value of its struggling New England properties, The Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
But far be it from me to suggest that their poor financial performance has anything to do with, say, the dazzling display of journalistic excellence being exposed in Judge Walton's courtroom. The Queen of Iraq and her cohorts are the victims here, doncha know.