James Taranto comments on a particularly disgusting example of the MSM's double standard. To differentiate, I put Taranto's comments in bold.
This ought to be considered a crime story, but the Associated Press treats it as something else:
[From the AP story] Hackers broke into the Yahoo! e-mail account that Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin used for official business as Alaska's governor, revealing as evidence a few inconsequential personal messages she has received since John McCain selected her as his running mate.
"This is a shocking invasion of the governor's privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them," the McCain campaign said in a statement.
The Secret Service contacted The Associated Press on Wednesday and asked for copies of the leaked e-mails, which circulated widely on the Internet. The AP did not comply.
The disclosure Wednesday raises new questions about the propriety of the Palin administration's use of nongovernment e-mail accounts to conduct state business.
Let's step back for a moment and consider what this says about the press's attitude toward privacy. A few years ago, the New York Times revealed the existence of the Terrorist Surveillance Program, a theretofore-secret effort to prevent attacks by listening in on overseas terrorists' phone conversations. In defense of the Times's action, we heard a lot of pious proclamations about privacy: George Bush might want to snoop on your phone conversations or emails, and the press was merely being vigilant in protecting your privacy.
Yet the AP, in reporting on its own role in the current story, tells us that it refuses to cooperate with the Secret Service's investigation of the privacy breach. Granted, the AP probably doesn't have that much to contribute to the investigation. But the symbolism is telling, and surely deliberate. It suggests the press places a far lower premium on privacy than on its own privileges and its adversarial attitude toward government (or perhaps toward Republicans).
Especially telling in this regard is the AP's reference to the emails as "leaked." (The Boston Globe uses the verb leak in its headline for the AP report.) Usually this term refers to a government agency or other organization's failure to keep a secret. A leaker is someone who is authorized to possess information but not to disclose it.
These emails were not leaked, they were stolen. Here we have an actual invasion of an American citizen's privacy, and what is the press's attitude? If the AP is representative (and given its organizational structure, it should be), it is to regard "questions about the propriety" of the victim as more important than the invasion of privacy itself.