It all depends on whose ox is being gored, of course. If the release of government secrets hurts Republicans or some cherished conservative cause, journalists support it. If the release hurts Democrats or some cherished liberal cause, they oppose it. Daniel Ellsberg, good. Devin Nunes, bad. But unlike Ellsberg, Nunes has broken no laws. No matter; the media will treat him as a traitor while exonerating real ones.

In the New York Times, retrospectives on the Pentagon Papers will often appear, invariably portraying government officials as self-interested crooks or boobs and concluding with a windy quote or two from Hugo Black about the supreme importance of publication. Don’t let “national security” or other stated government interests trump the people’s right to know about government misdeeds — that’s the upshot of these pieces. But that’s the argument the Times is using against the Nunes memo. It quotes very piously and uncritically the “grave concerns” of FBI officials who argue “not to publish.”