GIVE 'EM UP. Now this is comforting. A New York Appeals Court has ruled that a federal prosecutor can inspect the phone records of the New York Times reporters who revealed the government's plans to take action against two Islamic charities. The charities were tipped off when the reporters called to get their reactions to a raid that hadn't happened yet. The court ruled that the government's need to know the tipster outweighed the paper's desire to protect its sources. Weirdly, though, the court simply demanded the telephone records, not the cooperation of the journalists. As Robert Sack, the sole dissenting judge wrote:
�Reporters might find themselves, as a matter of practical necessity, contacting sources the way I understand drug dealers to reach theirs � by use of clandestine cellphones and meeting in darkened doorways. Ordinary use of the telephone could become a threat to journalist and source alike. It is difficult to see in whose best interests such a regime would operate.�
As I said: comforting.