In this hard-hitting inside story, Norman Pearlstine shows that confidentiality has become a weapon in the White Houses war on the press. Pearlstine calls on Congress to pass a federal shield law protecting journalists from the needless intrusions of government; at the same time, he calls on the press to name its sources whenever possible. Off the Record is a powerful argument, with the vividness and narrative drive of the best long-form journalism.
… Mr. Pearlstine s central argument is compelling, particularly his contention that when a news outlet has fought a First Amendment case all the way to the Supreme Court and lost, continued resistance amounts to defying the entire legal system, a choice that should be reserved for truly extraordinary causes. No one is above the law and that includes publishers, he writes.