Fish wrapper Dep’t

The State, South Carolina’s dominant newspaper, had a collection of (barely printable) emails between Sanford and his honey six months ago, and didn’t publish

The State, South Carolina’s dominant newspaper, had a collection of (barely printable) emails between Sanford and his honey six months ago, and didn’t publish. Remind me again why we need newspapers? Oh, yeah, I remember: to protect us from stuff we don’t really need to know.

I think it would have been appropriate then (and would have been even more appropriate now) not to publish the texts; given the fact of the affair, there’s nothing else here that justly concerns the public. But for the past week, people have been wondering about Sanford’s whereabouts, and The State had what was at least a very strong hint. The paper decided to keep the secret, and now, when publication serves only the prurient interest, publishes the full text.

If any reader can come up with a justification, no matter how lame, for either half of that decision, I’m all ears.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com