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Faced with the choice of paying a $100,000 fine for broadcasting leaked tapes of Manuel Noriega's jailhouse conversations or admitting a boo-boo on the air, Cable News Network today opted for the cheaper route. U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler gave CNN the choice at the close of the contempt-of-court case, which began after the network quoted from tapes of the deposed Panamanian leader's phone conversations with lawyers during his drug trial. (Noriega was found guilty and is serving a 40-year prison term.) Even though CNN argued that it had a legal right to air the tapes, in the face of a warning not to from Hoeveler, CNN President Tom Johnson took only a few minutes today to decide. And so, starting at 6 p.m. ET tonight, CNN begins airing a statement saying that the network "realizes it was in error in defying the order of the court. . . . Our justice system cannot long survive if litigants take it upon themselves to determine which judgments or orders of the court they will or will not follow."Post your opinion on theNew Mediabulletin board.