Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Definition of Chutzpah

According to the handy online encyclopedia Wikipedia, in its article on the defnition of the word Chutzpah: "[o]ne humorous example of chutzpah is often given as follows: 'A boy is on trial for murdering his parents, and he begs of the judge leniency because he is an orphan.'"

Another example would be the Washington Post's publication today of former US solicitor-general Theodore B. Olson's op-ed piece "A Much-Needed Shield for Reporters" advocating congressional passage of legislation shielding subpoenaed reporters from jail for failing to give up their sources.
Mr. Olson assures us that the proposed legislation before Congress treats "matters involving classified information and national security differently." Despite this, and given that this piece was published a week after the New York Times's scandalous publication, based on leaks, of material of vital importance to national security -- you have to wonder just what the editors of the Washington Post and Mr. Olson have been smoking ?
Why on earth would anybody support legislation that would make the institutional press more powerful, more unaccountable, and more immune from scrutiny than it already is ?
Mr. Olson has some serious chutzpah.

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