A longstanding tradition that empowers the NYPD to issue press passes needs to be scrapped. It’s a conflict of interest and threat to free speech, a notion that was exemplified during the raid on Liberty Plaza, when a police-instituted media blackout prevented reporters from doing their jobs. The Observer sums up this preposterous arrangement as “Kafkaesque,” but also notes that it may be an exercise in futility, since several journalists were arrested, and they had press passes.