The article by William Pfaff (Editorial Pages, Sept. 19), "Terrorists Are Now in Charge--Thanks to the Press," was right on the money. With freedom of the press comes the obligation to use it responsibly. We cannot allow terrorists, serial murderers, and the like, to manipulate our press to further their own malevolent ends.
A responsible press is a press with priorities designed to serve the greater good of the society in which a free press is possible. This is not to say that a free press is a propagandistic one. Rather, it implies that printing something merely because you know it is not always the appropriate thing to do. To borrow a few words from the apostle Paul, "All things are lawful, but not all things are expedient . . . "
If the top priority of a given newspaper is to sell newspapers no matter the price to society as a whole, then that paper is guilty of the irresponsible use of its freedom. If telling the whole story, even if it means playing into the hands of those who are functionally at war with our government, is the main priority, then we have used our freedom treasonably.