“It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.” That may turn out to be the most overused media cliché of the year. Like so many other morsels of media wit and wisdom it is clever, memorable, worldly-wise and wrong—at best a half-truth. Of course you can make a case that the cover-up is always worse than the crime in the media’s eyes, since by definition a cover-up means keeping information out of the hands of (at a minimum) the media. Understandably, they themselves regard nothing as being worse than that. But to anyone with a smidgen of moral discrimination no such blanket statement could ever be made. Indeed, a moment’s thought will persuade us that any cover-up which was actually worse than the crime could well be said to be justified, since if the crime was so trivial as to be less bad than withholding information, then withholding information couldn’t be very bad either. Nearly always it is the crime...


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