Among the many great parodies that Rush Limbaugh airs, a personal favorite is the "ad" for the New York Times [subscription required] in which Rush, serving as spokesman, says "if you want your sleeper cell to sleep safely, read the New York Times." Rush goes on to catalog the various types of information vital to keeping terrorists safe that the Gray Lady thoughtfully provides in its pages.
Now comes confirmation that the parody is telling a fundamental truth. On MSNBC this morning, NBC's chief Pentagon correspondent, Jim Miklaszewski stated that foreigners who might otherwise be inclined to provide information valuable to the United States in prosecuting the war on terror refuse to do so because "whatever we tell you is going to wind up on the front page of the New York Times."
Mik made his statement in the context of discussing a report that latest Wikileaks on Afghanistan reveal the name of many informants, putting them at risk for retaliation.
Boos to the New York Times and kudos to Rush, who once again demonstrates himself to be on that famous cutting edge of societal evolutions.
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI: Not only are those named put at risk, but those who might potentially cooperate with the Americans are probably not going to do it now. You know, often allies, U.S. allies, have told the Pentagon, State Department, why should we cooperate with you, because whatever we tell you is going to end up on the front pages of the New York Times.
That's one of the complaints, actually, specifically from Pakistan. Every time U.S. officials travel to Islamabad to sit down and try to gain increased cooperation from Pakistan, inevitably, we are told, they complain about press leaks that jeopardize anything they're going to do in conjunction with the U.S.