Will the Edward Snowden affair mark the beginning of a new press paradigm in the United States? For decades the American media has dutifully relayed the government line, renouncing its role of watchdog charged with exposing government wrong-doing. Whistle-blowers in effect emerged to fill the void. In an unusual incident, when during a press briefing Washington accused Russia of ‘providing a platform’ for Edward Snowden by allowing him to meet with human rights activists in the transit area of a Moscow airport to launch his request for asylum, an Associated Press reporter pointed out that when a person is accused of a crime he does not lose his right to free speech.