Skip to comments.Fox News Reporter Faces Judge Over Refusal to Reveal Sources — Will the First Amendment Win Out?
Posted on 04/01/2013 6:53:26 PM PDT by Texas Fossil
UPDATE (AP) A hearing on whether a reporter should be ordered to testify about how she obtained confidential information in the Colorado theater shooting case is being continued until next week.
New York-based Fox News reporter Jana Winter cited anonymous law enforcement officials in reporting that suspect James Holmes had sent a psychiatrist a notebook of drawings that foreshadowed the July 20 attack.
Prosecutors and Holmes lawyers argued about the issue in court Monday, but the defense wants to again question a detective about whether he might have told someone else about the notebook, who may have then talked to Winter.
The judge agreed and scheduled another hearing for April 10. He raised the possibility that Winters source was from outside Colorado, and not subject to the cases gag order.
(Excerpt) Read more at theblaze.com ...
There will be no trial, perp is dead, but the Gov cannot stand daylight.
Correction: The perp is not dead. I was thinking about wrong case.
Still this is anti 1st Amendment.
If this was Media Matters, the judge wouldn’t squawk. He just doesn’t like Fox.
Can’t let out the detail that the theater shooter sent his shrink a detailed diagram of his plan and that the shrink only got him banned from campus.
That might cause people to think a failed mental health system was more of the cause than the guns.
Our evil government has kept this secret for political reasons. If he was an NRA member, a TEA party member, etc,, you can safely know that law enforcement would have released that detail quickly.
How do these, “special privileges,” that journalists get pass 14th Amendment muster? If the average citizen doesn’t have these rights, how come journalists get them?
I don’t read anything about concealing sources in amendment one. I have no idea what freedom of the press is that’s not covered by free speech, though, so your guess is as good as mine. My instinct is to subject them to the same standards as everyone else for when they have to answer the cops and when they tell them to sick an egg.
I never much liked secret sources, either. It tends to turn news into gossip, especially since your source could be made up, who knows? Not that I don’t realize it’s necessary for good dirt to be dug.
They reference Fox News and I also posted that article.
I think it is accurate.
If it was a “made up” source, the prosecution would not bother to discuss this.
There is no special privilege for journalists. You cannot be compelled to testify either. The only thing special here is that some nutty judge thinks he can force a journalist to explain something she reported, how she got the information, etc. They are doing it to try to hide government shennanigans.
This is classic 1st amendment.
As far as I’m concerned ALL the media have forfeited the right to their special treatment.
No, but I wasn’t limiting my commentary to this case. In that case the secret would be kept from the customer, your bosses, the competition, etc., instead of the law.
You can be compelled to testify, unless doing so would incriminate you. I imagine the law has standards for what sort of information qualifies. There’s always an argument to be made, however. Revealing a source wouldn’t seem to tend to do so, but you never know.
“nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,”
5th amendment,, can’t force anyone to testify against theirself. Can this journalist reasonably expect that the government might prosecute her? Easily.
and the answer to abuses of speech is more speech, not legal prior censorship of reporters by the goverment. A reminder that the Federalist papers and other writings of our founders were written under pseudonyms to protect themselves and for other reasons.
The problem here is that our government was hiding this amazing failure of the mental health system, a few months before the election, so they could better blame it on guns. ANd this reporter exposed their scam. Good for her.
What are you talking about? What does Fox News have to do with what is and is not covered by the first amendment?
There so many people who might have heard about that book it isn't funny.
Dollars to doughnuts there's more than one book.
The standard is that YOU get to decide what qualifies. If they want to force you they have exactly one option. Give you full immunity from prosecution.
A child can see 100 ways the government could prosecute the FOX reporter for reporting what they have hidden from us. All that has to happen is that the reporter has to say “i refuse to answer to the grounds that it might tend to incriminate me”.
The judge can then lock her up for contempt, and she can sit and let corporate lawyers start emergency lawsuits and writs to federal courts for her immediate release. She shouldnt say a word. She did a service to gun owners here.
However (playing devil’s advocate here) if they provide immunity from prosecution for her, she *must* testify.
Sure,,,just try it. The offer of immunity must be so broadly written for her to know that is a full protection that she can rely on it. Such an offer can never be that broad that the state would offer it. And this would cross state lines, and involves Obamas justice department.
How exactly does a Colorado -state- judge offer immunity for the FEDERAL prosecution that could also result from this womans success at undermining the Obama “guns are the problem” narrative” with her good reporting?
I suppose it’s possible her part of it broke some law, given how many laws there are to break. But seems to me she’s not being asked to testify against herself. She’s being asked to testify against her source. Has she invoked the fifth amendment, or is it all about freedom of the press? Because if she’s already claimed it’s about her right to conceal a source, then self-incrimination is beside the point.
“the answer to abuses of speech is more speech, not legal prior censorship”
I can’t follow your argument here.
There is a nice upside to this (again, devil’s advocate here) in that if this does hold up to further scrutiny, those lefties writing ‘sources say’ crap can then be compelled to testify as to who their sources were - or they they can be compelled to recant.
Personally, I really don’t see why we have a journalist shield concept for named authors. If you publish anonymously or under an obvious pseudonym, as the Federalist Papers were done, that’s one thing. But if you put your name on something, you’d best be able to back up your assertions. As it is right now, the shield is being abused to promote partisan attacks by the Left.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.