For Jaffe at the Post, the Pentagon Papers question is irrelevant. “I think there’s no comparison,” he said. And in what might be a preview of a more contextualized piece he says he is writing for tomorrow’s paper, he says, “I tend not to think that this is a major moment. I think it’s a more interesting media story than it is a military and foreign policy story at this moment. The folks at WikiLeaks seem pretty good at manipulating us, to get publicity for what they’re doing. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that but it does seem to be true.”

Did he consider that in his reporting? “I think we did an okay job of trying to put this in context and explaining to readers that this isn’t necessarily the Pentagon Papers, it’s something different. Given the incredibly short amount of time we had last night to turn stuff around, I thought we did an adequate job.”

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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.