The question it poses about journalistic integrity is an important one. The mitigating factor here is that if Rove did indeed leak information about Valerie Plame he was putting her life at risk. It is certainly ethical to protect sources from a legal interrogation, especially when there is any ambiguity involved... but, when a very senior politician risks someone's life for political advancement, it's arguably a whole different story. However, in reality the Times reporter should have instantly reported Rove to the authorities.
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