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Jana Winter, Fox News reporter
Jana Winter
Hunter Schwarz points out that the big media, including The New York Times, which would be incensed if one of their reporters were threatened with jail for refusing to reveal a source, are extremely quiet in the case of Jana Winter. Right-wingers and some other critics think this may have with those media's "hostility" toward Winter's employer, the entertainment operation called Fox News.

After all, there was a widespread media outcry when Judith Miller, a Times reporter who was essentially operating as a propaganda conduit for the Bush-Cheney administration in the ramp-up to the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath, was jailed for 85 days after refusing to reveal her source in the exposure of CIA agent Valerie Plame. That source was I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. When the court held her in contempt, the Times and other media stood firmly behind Miller until Libby finally gave her written permission to testify and she was released.

Winter is the Fox reporter who wrote a story about a notebook sent to his psychiatrist by James Holmes, the gunslinger who has been indicted for shooting 70 people in an Aurora, Colorado, theater last summer, killing 12 of them. The chilling notebook was found after the shooting in the campus mailroom at the University of Colorado, where Holmes had been enrolled:

"Inside the package was a notebook full of details about how he was going to kill people," the source told FoxNews.com. "There were drawings of what he was going to do in it -- drawings and illustrations of the massacre."
The FBI took custody of the notebook. Holmes's lawyers subsequently obtained the go-ahead to subpoena Winter from the then-judge in the case. On Wednesday, the new judge will decide whether she has to testify in the case. Her lawyer has said she will not. That means she could be held in contempt and sent to jail until she gives up her source. Just because she works for Fox, and just because the case doesn't have the impact that the Plame case did, doesn't mean big media should ignore it.

Please continue to read more about Winter's situation below the fold.

Reporters often depend on anonymous sources to pry out information they could not otherwise obtain. Those who betray their sources and remain journalists can face a lifetime of covering school boards and ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Thus, faced with jail time, a few journalists refuse to budge.

For instance, in 2006, self-professed anarchist and freelance video blogger Josh Wolf was incarcerated when he refused to turn over a videotape said to contain footage of protesters damaging a police car. He spent 226 days in a federal prison before he was finally released in April 2007, a record for an American journalist.

The National Press Club has stood up for Winter. On Friday, NPC President Angela Greiling Keane said:

"Courts have the right to enforce the confidentiality of investigations, and that may in some cases require punishing leakers," National Press Club President Angela Greiling Keane said. "But attempting to get that information by subpoenaing reporters in order to learn their anonymous sources goes too far. It jeopardizes a value of greater significance. If anonymous sources believe their identities can be dredged up in court, they will be less likely to disclose to the press information of vital public importance. That's not a risk worth increasing."
I can speak from personal experience in several instances. Once, anonymous sources provided me with information whose revelation in print eventually led to the closing and mandated clean-up of a massively polluted uranium mill operation in Uravan, Colorado, in the 1980s. If those sources had thought I would expose their identities, I would never have been able to write that story.

Most investigative reporters find themselves in that situation at least once in their careers. And they should be protected from having to reveal sources, no matter who their employer is. In Miller's case, of course, she wasn't protecting a private source calling into question malfeasance or other misbehavior by a government official. Instead she was protecting a self-interested public official who was trying to alter the national narrative in the midst of a war whose motivations were fabricated. But building reporter shield laws that protect some kinds of sources and not others presents considerable problems.

Colorado's press shield law protects reporters who seek to keep the name of a source secret. But a judge can compel compliance if the information can't be obtained in any other way. In Winter's case, the need to know who her source is seems utterly superfluous to the case.

It can be argued that police and prosecutors shouldn't reveal aspects of cases under investigation. But reporters shouldn't be punished for getting them to do so despite the fact that the Judith Millers of the world will abuse their privilege to spread lies. And media shouldn't make choices about which reporters to spotlight based on their ideology. Nor should we as citizens support reporters who try to protect their sources based on which media they work for no matter how much their employer may cause us to grind our molars.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (190+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    navajo, Klusterpuck, Mary Mike, JDWolverton, Actbriniel, mimi, CwV, campionrules, high uintas, peachcreek, Horace Boothroyd III, quaoar, erush1345, Bob Love, dadoodaman, a2nite, avsp, GAS, implicate order, MJ via Chicago, rja, commonmass, susans, spooks51, defluxion10, Yoseph, side pocket, joejoejoe, Glen The Plumber, Gentle Giant, possum, LaFeminista, Laurel in CA, marleycat, AnnieR, DBunn, zerelda, Black Max, freedom fried, Batya the Toon, Nattiq, Senor Unoball, slowbutsure, shenderson, Its a New Day, alasmoses, Polly Syllabic, LinSea, VClib, xxdr zombiexx, GeorgeXVIII, cotterperson, civil wingnut, anodnhajo, J M F, OIL GUY, MGross, petulans, greycat, ogre, Zwoof, antirove, JekyllnHyde, Caneel, science nerd, KenBee, asym, Angie in WA State, annieli, stlsophos, gloriana, wader, DRo, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, no way lack of brain, BeninSC, Massconfusion, tiponeill, not a cent, NearlyNormal, pgm 01, hubcap, Sprinkles, foucaultspendulum, Eyesbright, pianogramma, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, ItsSimpleSimon, Hubbard Squash, Keninoakland, Calvino Partigiani, MBNYC, doroma, andalusi, native, 1BQ, AoT, MasterKey, Brooke In Seattle, marina, bibble, raincrow, jabney, countwebb, hulibow, a gilas girl, hmi, Dodgerdog1, CT Hank, cap76, savano66, Gorette, Shippo1776, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, linkage, RagingGurrl, SusiesPurl, babaloo, OLinda, blue91, xyz, DSPS owl, ffour, nomandates, SadieSue, joynow, dinotrac, confitesprit, muddy boots, cyncynical, StrayCat, sturunner, Heiuan, Susipsych, Luma, leftykook, mamamedusa, Denise Oliver Velez, nirbama, itzadryheat, mikeconwell, jethrock, Orinoco, Ginny in CO, begone, NYC Sophia, bronte17, willyr, leema, Aaa T Tudeattack, PeteZerria, Denver11, JML9999, ZedMont, twigg, Just Bob, kurt, remembrance, howabout, The Eyewitness Muse, kenwards, CharlesInCharge, sagesource, jck, Heart of the Rockies, lotlizard, noweasels, also mom of 5, crescentdave, robbinsdale radical, revsue, Eric Nelson, Jeff Y, dotsright, xynz, grover, eeff, 417els, daeros, rapala, mikejay611, FrY10cK, WheninRome, CIndyCasella, SanFernandoValleyMom, alice kleeman, Woody, David M Landreth, Oh Mary Oh, Lujane

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:32:45 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for writing this (40+ / 0-)

    I saw the articles about this and was curious why it was not covered here - I should have known you would cover it.  

    Most investigative reporters find themselves in that situation at least once in their careers. And they should be protected from having to reveal sources, no matter who their employer is.

    Thank you.

  •  I saw this and thought about posting it here. (25+ / 0-)

    I wasn't sure how I thought about it. What you said is about how I feel. I don't like Fox, but she did her job and is going to jail for it. Sad.

    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

    by JDWolverton on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:45:26 AM PDT

    •  All the more reason to stand up for her (14+ / 0-)

      It ain't freedom of the press if it is just for our side.  Change the story to an oil company insider spilling the beans on fracking and we'd sure want that reporter protected.

      And while I have the floor .... a point made elsewhere and worth repeating - the source of the diary story has absolutely NO bearing on the facts and evidence to be presented at a trial.  The notebook exists and will be (or not) entered into evidence.  Who alerted the reporter to the contents is irrelevant to the facts of the case.

      •  Freedom of the Press? Really? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos

        I'm pretty sure her story was published.  Her injection into a life-felony criminal case is what's at issue.  If she refuses to disclose her source, she will have her day in court to argue why she is not in contempt.  The judge's gag order may or may not be valid. She may or may not be aiding someone who has violated that order. But she is still free to file any story she wants. No First Amendment violation there. Her ability to get people to possibly violate orders of future courts is not an abridgment of her First Amendment rights.

        In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

        by TampaCPA on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:01:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you have a problem calling what she does journal (4+ / 0-)

          ism? so what?

          if you want to DO something about ti george clooney had the right idea in 1996:

          George Clooney's Press Conference

          "Hi, thanks for coming out. Broadcasting stations such as NBC, CBS, USA Today, 60 minutes, and L.A. Times, were all wanting me to make some sort of comment about this tragedy because of my recent battle with the tabloids.
          My first reaction has been to stay out of this, I want to be fair to the Princess, this is not about me. But as I sit in front of my TV listening to tabloid journalists, and editor's dodging their own responsibility and placing the blame on the drunken driver, or society, or Princess Di, I now feel that the only fair thing that I can do is stand up and make one clear concise statement: Stand up and ask this to the self-appointed spokesman, Steven Coz, the editor of the National Enquirer, and all other tabloids positioning themselves as innocents;

          "The Princess of Wales is dead. And who should we see about that? The driver of the car, the paparazzis, or the magazines and papers who purchase these pictures and make bounty hunters out of photographers? The same magazines, television shows and papers that use their pages creating the news, causing altercations, and then filming them. Well, you must be exhilarated. You bought and paid for one of the greatest news stories of the year. And for your success you should be held accountable.

          But how will we do that? How will we make you responsible for your actions? Not buy your papers or watch your shows, maybe. Pass criminal laws restricting paparazzis? No. Censorship can never be the solution. The only thing worse than an out of control press acting with no regard for decency would be restricting that very same press. Ultimately there is no legislating good taste or doing what is right. And you, sir, and your colleagues, wallow in that fact. Mr. Coz, I watch as you scramble for high ground, saying that you won't purchase these pictures. Pictures of a dying Princess trapped in her car. Well, I am impressed. What ethics.

          Your cover of your magazine this week said "Di Can't Get Enough Sex." It's on the stands still. I also watch as you take your position on CNN, saying as long as there is a market for this then you are just supplying the goods. It's because of the public's insatiable appetite for celebrity. They're to blame, the public is.

          All right. So let's use your argument. There are also thousands of people with an insatiable appetite for crack. The person who supplies that is called a dealer, and if he's caught he goes to jail. A photographer will commit a crime to get compromising pictures and later you merely buy those pictures, absolving yourself of any responsibility. If you weren't hiding behind the profession of journalism, you would be an accomplice to a crime and you would go to jail. I am not singling you out, Mr. Coz, you have made yourself the spokesman. And this involves most press. But you are right about one thing. This is not about celebrity, this is about all of us, Richard Jewell, parents of children killed on Flight 800, everyone.

          But maybe there is something that we can do about you. You and all the editors, television and print, who purchase their news. Two words, "malicious intent." They are two words that every ethical journalist says is the loophole the tabloids hide behind. Those two words exist in a relatively recent Supreme Court decision changing the libel laws. We survived 120 years without them. You change these two words and all journalists are held accountable in a civil trial. One would still have to prove your story untrue, but they wouldn't have to prove the unprovable, what's in your mind. Was it your intent to be malicious? We cannot prove that. They are two words in the law that I will spend every free moment trying to change, and I am well aware of the undertaking, it is no small task.

          Now let's open a discussion about privacy. Not just for celebrities, but for everyone. If an outlet buys pictures and a photographer has committed a crime to get these pictures, then that outlet should be held responsible. Legitimate news sources like the LA Times and network news should draw a clear line in the sand. Do not purchase your news; do not use tabloids as a source. You define the difference between tabloid and legitimate news. Do your job. Inform responsibly. And as for you, Mr. Coz, and your colleagues, you have gone on television and you have washed your hands, and you have placed blame, and you have deflected responsibility, and yet I wonder how you sleep at night. You should be ashamed. Thank you."

          ________________________

          http://www.actblue.com/page/accountabilitynow If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals!

          by daeros on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 03:16:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Propaganda conduit, well put, Meteor Blades. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody, glorificus
      Judith Miller, a Times reporter who was essentially operating as a propaganda conduit for the Bush-Cheney administration in the ramp-up to the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 08:21:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  New York Times ignored Bradley Manning trial, too. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody, codairem

        The honchos at the NY Times clearly have an agenda to cleanse the Grey Lady of news pertaining to some sources of whistle blowing, but exploits their paper's 50 shades of grey as a propaganda conduit for Neocon liars to warmonger.

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 08:44:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's all part of our general (29+ / 0-)

    de-evolution.

    It's like we've forgotten why we did just about anything.

    Evolution: Really? Apes?
    Rape: Can It Cause Pregnancy?
    Financial Collapse: Why Hold Wall Street Responsible??
    Climate: Is It Changing? Does It Matter?
    Women's Reproductive Rights: Whose Brilliant Idea Was It to Leave This Up To Women??!! Defcon 1!!!
    Social Security. More Than We Need?
    Border-Line Recession: Stimulus? Austerity First!
    Rule of Law: Be "Serious."
    News Source Protection: What's That All About?

    “Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers -- and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers." - Chris Hedges

    by Klusterpuck on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:46:39 AM PDT

  •  I had not heard of this (17+ / 0-)

    One would think it would be all over the news. Thanks, MB

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:48:44 AM PDT

    •  I checked three MSM papers (22+ / 0-)

      nytimes.com, latimes.com, washingtonpost.com. Nothing in any of them.

      The fact that she's from Fox should make it more newsworthy, not less. A Fox employee practicing journalism is "man bites dog" material.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:35:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fox News as in the cable channel (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, daeros, CIndyCasella

        or Fox as in a local Fox station?

        They're not the same thing. Local stations often do investigative work, and they do a decent job. They're not part of FNN, they're part of the Fox network of stations.

        •  So were Jane Akre and Steve Wilson... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina, happymisanthropy, daeros

          It is time to #Occupy Media.

          by lunachickie on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 02:48:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •   Neither, Winter is a Fox.com "reporter" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CIndyCasella

          See my comments on Jana Winter below.

          •  george clooneys 1996 press conference (0+ / 0-)

            George Clooney's Press Conference

            "Hi, thanks for coming out. Broadcasting stations such as NBC, CBS, USA Today, 60 minutes, and L.A. Times, were all wanting me to make some sort of comment about this tragedy because of my recent battle with the tabloids.
            My first reaction has been to stay out of this, I want to be fair to the Princess, this is not about me. But as I sit in front of my TV listening to tabloid journalists, and editor's dodging their own responsibility and placing the blame on the drunken driver, or society, or Princess Di, I now feel that the only fair thing that I can do is stand up and make one clear concise statement: Stand up and ask this to the self-appointed spokesman, Steven Coz, the editor of the National Enquirer, and all other tabloids positioning themselves as innocents;

            "The Princess of Wales is dead. And who should we see about that? The driver of the car, the paparazzis, or the magazines and papers who purchase these pictures and make bounty hunters out of photographers? The same magazines, television shows and papers that use their pages creating the news, causing altercations, and then filming them. Well, you must be exhilarated. You bought and paid for one of the greatest news stories of the year. And for your success you should be held accountable.

            But how will we do that? How will we make you responsible for your actions? Not buy your papers or watch your shows, maybe. Pass criminal laws restricting paparazzis? No. Censorship can never be the solution. The only thing worse than an out of control press acting with no regard for decency would be restricting that very same press. Ultimately there is no legislating good taste or doing what is right. And you, sir, and your colleagues, wallow in that fact. Mr. Coz, I watch as you scramble for high ground, saying that you won't purchase these pictures. Pictures of a dying Princess trapped in her car. Well, I am impressed. What ethics.

            Your cover of your magazine this week said "Di Can't Get Enough Sex." It's on the stands still. I also watch as you take your position on CNN, saying as long as there is a market for this then you are just supplying the goods. It's because of the public's insatiable appetite for celebrity. They're to blame, the public is.

            All right. So let's use your argument. There are also thousands of people with an insatiable appetite for crack. The person who supplies that is called a dealer, and if he's caught he goes to jail. A photographer will commit a crime to get compromising pictures and later you merely buy those pictures, absolving yourself of any responsibility. If you weren't hiding behind the profession of journalism, you would be an accomplice to a crime and you would go to jail. I am not singling you out, Mr. Coz, you have made yourself the spokesman. And this involves most press. But you are right about one thing. This is not about celebrity, this is about all of us, Richard Jewell, parents of children killed on Flight 800, everyone.

            But maybe there is something that we can do about you. You and all the editors, television and print, who purchase their news. Two words, "malicious intent." They are two words that every ethical journalist says is the loophole the tabloids hide behind. Those two words exist in a relatively recent Supreme Court decision changing the libel laws. We survived 120 years without them. You change these two words and all journalists are held accountable in a civil trial. One would still have to prove your story untrue, but they wouldn't have to prove the unprovable, what's in your mind. Was it your intent to be malicious? We cannot prove that. They are two words in the law that I will spend every free moment trying to change, and I am well aware of the undertaking, it is no small task.

            Now let's open a discussion about privacy. Not just for celebrities, but for everyone. If an outlet buys pictures and a photographer has committed a crime to get these pictures, then that outlet should be held responsible. Legitimate news sources like the LA Times and network news should draw a clear line in the sand. Do not purchase your news; do not use tabloids as a source. You define the difference between tabloid and legitimate news. Do your job. Inform responsibly. And as for you, Mr. Coz, and your colleagues, you have gone on television and you have washed your hands, and you have placed blame, and you have deflected responsibility, and yet I wonder how you sleep at night. You should be ashamed. Thank you."

            ________________________

            http://www.actblue.com/page/accountabilitynow If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals!

            by daeros on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 03:14:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  mmacdDE, well, well, Faux News by any other (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          daeros

          name passes the smell test?  I don't think so.  We are known by the company we keep?

      •  Point for Dogs are fuzzy raising man bites dog. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        daeros, CIndyCasella

        My Shepherd agrees, but is a terrible typist so asked to tag on to this comment.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:30:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, the Denver Post has covered it.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies, daeros, Woody

        More than likely only because it is a local story.

        Just to be clear, the subpoena is for her anonymous source. I had wondered if the local investigators were upset the news was released and hampered the case or just made them look bad.

        Now curious, since it was Holmes' lawyers who wanted the subpoena, what their interest is. They are going for mental illness defense so the psychiatrist's knowledge of Holmes' comments about his homicidal state will become important. How does knowing who revealed the existence of the notebook found in the mail room (so she had not received it) affect their case?

        Further background. The story of the psychiatrist reporting him to the university police (because of his homicidal thought revelations) has been out with the result they had deactivated his ID card. The part about them asking her if he should be brought in for a 72 hour hold did not. She decided against it. IIRC it was over a week before the shooting. I'm not so interested in her liability as whether psychiatrists need more info on homicidal individuals or a contact group to discuss specific cases.  

        Not sure if CO has a version of the Tarasoff ruling (see MB comment below) or if it applies to nonspecified people. It just puzzles me that we go to significant lengths to address possible suicide and seem to treat a homicidal comment with less caution.  Patients are asked if they have suicidal thoughts, a plan (weapons or pills), and they are given hotline numbers and other resources.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 07:38:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is there (5+ / 0-)

    not a degree of Doctor/Patient confidentiality here that really does need a judge to determine if it needs to be released?

     I see that as the big difference between the cases.  Don't we want ill people to feel confident that their medical records are safe from general public viewing.  We want people like him to feel confident being able to talk to a Doctor.

    •  This is a complicated matter here because we... (40+ / 0-)

      ...have three intersecting issues: what a reporter should do regarding information secretly provided; a psychiatrist's duty to her or his patient; a psychiatrist's duty to protect others from a potentially violent patient.

      Part of the matter is discussed here:

      For nearly three decades, the Tarasoff rule has been controversial among mental health professionals. This rule, which has spread to many states, originated in the California Supreme Court's decision in Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California (17 Cal.3d 425 [1976]). In Tarasoff, a patient told his psychotherapist that he intended to kill an unnamed but readily identifiable woman. Subsequently, the patient killed the woman. Her parents then sued the psychotherapist for failing to warn them or their daughter about the danger. The California Supreme Court rejected the psychotherapist's claim that he owed no duty to the woman because she was not his patient, holding that if a therapist determines or reasonably should have determined "that a patient poses a serious danger of violence to others, he bears a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect the foreseeable victim of that danger."

      In 1985, the California legislature codified the Tarasoff rule: California law now provides that a psychotherapist has a duty to protect or warn a third party only if the therapist actually believed or predicted that the patient posed a serious risk of inflicting serious bodily injury upon a reasonably identifiable victim. [...]

      It's a big issue, with a lot of tentacles.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:16:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  MB - I too am surprised that the MSM (6+ / 0-)

        hasn't circled the wagons on this case.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:54:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  me gut says a professional reporter in (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, a2nite, KenBee, daeros

        possession of knowledge of potential tragedy, massive mayhem etc
        has some duty to warn or advise somebody. An editor?

        Anybody would I imagine. If  I knew something as a civilian and failed to.warn  I am certain Id get spanked hard.

      •  Therein Lies the Rub (4+ / 0-)

        It seems like most of these stories pretty much follow the same script.

        In most jurisdictions there is a pretty broad reporter's shield law protecting the confidentiality of sources.  The story only gets interesting because the law also recognizes other important interests, like the defendant's right to a fair trial, and once in a while the important value of protecting confidential sources has to be balanced against other important values.  Also, once in a while, the important value of protecting sources won't end up being the Single Most Important Thing that trumps every other consideration.

        What we then get is an absolutist reporter saying he or she won't comply because a neutral third party ruled against him or her in this case.  The reporter's position that the reporter's interest is more important than anybody else's interest, and that the reporter gets to be the exclusive judge and jury about whose interest is the most important, is actually pretty hard to defend if you aren't a reporter.  This is especially true when the reporter setting herself up as the exclusive arbiter of what is important has an agenda very different from the model of protecting an innocent whistle blower from the power of Big Government.  That certainly wasn't Judith Miller's concern in protecting Scooter Libby.  It's hard to imagine this being a whistle blower situation either.

        •  It's the readers's interest, not just the reporter (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StrayCat, daeros

          There is a pretty clear case to be made in favor of an informed public.

          Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

          by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:38:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm recommending this, even though I profoundly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lotlizard, alice kleeman

          disagree with its thrust and jib.

          The public interest demands transparency above all else. If private sources fear that their revelations will harm their careers or land them in jail, they will be unwilling to supply transparency.

          Transparency is the ultimate value that trumps all others, including even the sanctity of a defendant's right to a fair trial (although it boggles the imagination to consider how revealing or not revealing a confidential source might violate a defendant's right to a fair trial).

          I used to be an investigative reporter in a previous life (once scooped the NY Times on a story of perfidy in academia :) and had to accept the fact that I might be jailed for contempt for refusing to reveal the identity of my sources.

          The sanctity of confidential sources goes with the investigative journalism territory, so to speak. Sort of like a doctor being asked to divulge confidential doctor-patient information or be jailed, or a lawyer being compelled to reveal attorney-client communications or risk jail. No self-respecting doctor or attorney would violate privilege, nor would or should any real investigative journalist.

          •  Transparency? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tod, daeros

            Transparency in governance, sure.  Transparency in personal medical records is not at all the same thing.

            "with rights come responsibilities." Wrong. Responsibilities continue to exist even if you abdicate your rights.

            by happymisanthropy on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:40:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Have You Noticed...... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos, mikejay611

            Have you noticed how the one group who consistently believe that reporter's rights are more important than everybody else's is reporters themselves?  Conflict of interest much?

            Most lawyers understand that there are exceptions to the attorney/client privilege. If the issue is fully and fairly litigated and the final authority rules that the privilege does not apply in a certain case most attorneys would respect the ruling.

            If it were me I would adopt a shield law that was stronger or weaker depending on a couple of things. Did the disclosure advance the public's right to know and public accountability or was the leak to a reporter designed to evade, not advance, public accountability?  Did the source have a credible threat of retaliation from government or industry worthy of protection?  The more it looks like Daniel Ellsberg the more protection. The more it looks like Scooter Libby the less protection.

      •  I don't (5+ / 0-)

        see how the Tarasoff rule would apply here.  The psychiatrist had not seen (maybe still hasn't) the material, it was still in the mail.  The subject was already in custody.  Jana Winter is protecting someone who broke the law by releasing pretrial documents thus hindering a fair trial.  

        Of course I believe that Judith Miller deserved to go to jail because she was protecting a law breaker not a whistle blower.

        •  almost sounds like mail tampering (4+ / 0-)

          and perhaps it was even stolen and sold...and to Fox who would love to gin up a story so as to undermine the  mental health professionals.
           

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:40:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You mean Murdoch wiretapping or stealing mail? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos, KenBee, happymisanthropy

            That could never happen.

            Tough call here, because there are a number of well-established public interests colliding: free press, patient confidentiality, privacy, and protection against mail theft.

            But the fact that it's a Murdoch operation and we're talking about possible mail tampering adds a huge dollop of irony.

          •  Well, the source was identified as being (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee, daeros, Kevskos, mikejay611, Woody

            "in law enforcement."  Here is the lead paragraph:

            James Holmes, the accused gunman in last Friday's midnight movie massacre in Colorado, mailed a notebook "full of details about how he was going to kill people" to a University of Colorado psychiatrist before the attack, and the parcel may have sat unopened in a mailroom for up to a week before its discovery Monday, a law enforcement source told FoxNews.com.
            So there is no question of mail tampering here. This is a case of somebody in the FBI leaking information about a defendant to the media, which is just as serious. More serious, in my opinion.

            Circumstances surely matter in a case like this. As much as I applaud the support for journalistic inviolability, even for journalists we don't like, whether the revelation itself was ethical in the first place ought to make a difference. If that does not make a difference, then Fox would be justified in stonewalling the investigation of the voicemail hacking scandal in the UI.

            It's hard to compare a case like this to one where a reporter is uncovering official wrongdoing that would otherwise go unpunished.  That's one of the key functions of journalism in our society, even when it involves acts which are technically illegal.

            In THIS case, we're talking about information about a suspect who has already been arrested and charged. The information leaked by law enforcement for its own purposes, which might well include swaying potential jurors.  That's very improper, an injustice toward the defendant.

            And since this is information that would no doubt have come out in the trial after the jury had been sequestered, this situation isn't about the right of the public to know, it's about an opportunity for a reporter to scoop other news organizations. That's not a matter of public interest at all.

            I've lost my faith in nihilism

            by grumpynerd on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:12:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, that's a good close reading (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              daeros, Kevskos

              but it doesn't say it was opened only by LEO upon discovery, or that it was removed after discovery, discovery by whom and then what? was my question...and sold or leaked to Fox news reporter then given to FBI...all that occurred to me to be another reading of it, knowing the specious parseing going on in all media.

              I guess I'd need to see a oathed chain of discovery testimony at this point,, but... even then...it's pretty dam convenient and coincidental.
                How does mail just  'sit'...that's a pretty rare coincidence. Somebody could have stolen it and gave it back..all kinds of possibilities, but whatevebdfhgfgr...sometimes a rare coincidence is just a rare coincidence.

              This machine kills Fascists.

              by KenBee on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:45:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure how I feel about this case... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        daeros

        the logic protecting journalists seems rather similar to that protecting patient records.  Yet there is a definite public interest in knowing what went on there.

      •  The noitebook didn't get to the psychiatrist here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos
        The chilling notebook was found after the shooting in the campus mailroom at the University of Colorado, where Holmes had been enrolled:
        The link article she wrote says
        and the parcel may have sat unopened in a mailroom for up to a week before its discovery Monday
        and makes clear it went from the w enforcement

        so.. all the more puzzling that this is happening. The article isn't about state secrets. Might be against the rules for law enforcement to leak
        but why would they be pushing it this way. Jail for the reporter?

        Doesn't seem like a big issue under the circumstances

      •  I think the Calif Supremes ruled correctly here (2+ / 0-)

        that any medical professional should think they do not have an obligation to anyone other than their paying client is a little disturbing...not to say depressing.

        _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

        by Keith930 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 07:14:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  my life was ruined by the hosptial (0+ / 0-)

          conning us into getting my elementary school involved when i was hosptialized as a kid

          hippa laws were not in place. and when i was diagnosed the wrong way  by the hospital  I had to live with that rulling in my school  for years. it meant that every time kids bullyed me i was to blame, etc.

          if anyone includng me told an adult at it they'd flip it on it's head so i was to blame, etc.

          http://www.actblue.com/page/accountabilitynow If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals!

          by daeros on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 03:35:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Huh? (13+ / 0-)

    Fox News has reporters?

    "Reality has a well-known liberal bias" - S. Colbert

    Romney vs. Obama: Stench vs. Mensch

    by freedom fried on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:13:57 PM PDT

    •  Who wodda thunk? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a gilas girl, StrayCat, Kimbeaux, daeros
      Fox News has reporters?

      "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

      by gritsngumbo on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:22:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  See that's what I did (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a gilas girl, daeros, chesterdog

      skimmed it somewhere else and thought - FOX? BFD, cry me river. Sadly, I think FOX has played such a large role in the destruction of this country & I am so overwhelmed with animosity toward them that I still don't really care all that much, even after reading this. Or I should say it's way low on my outrage meter.

      Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

      by hulibow on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:08:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not hard to understand why (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, a gilas girl, Willinois

    Fox News has done so much damage to what we think of as "news" and by association tarnished the reputations of everyone involved in the industry that I can't see anyone going out on a limb to help even legitimize them, never mind defend them.  Perhaps reluctantly at best.

    You'd think that they would come forward to help a fellow reporter, but maybe she's burned some bridges?  I don't really know anything about her.

    •  Down We Go (11+ / 0-)

      So the news cartel lets the government get another precedent of a jailed/compelled journalist, because that journalist's publisher doesn't meet their standards (that they don't really uphold) - and maybe just out of competitive spite. Which undermines trust of journalism even more. So the next journalist the government can compel can be less shabby - until any journalist can be compelled to reveal any source for any pretext.

      Miller was the big step. As much as I hated her, and wanted her lying sources to suffer, the shield was bigger than her and even the Iraq War. These little steps are the mortar around bricks like that which  makes the wall permanent.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:04:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        daeros, mikejay611

        There's a bigger picture and it seems few people are capable of seeing it.

        It's natural to try to protect people we like and causes we care about.

        But fighting for absolute rights, like freedom of the press, is a fight for all of us, even when the parties of any given battle may be very unattractive.

        We forget that at our peril.

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:50:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You would think so. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikejay611

      But the other news networks keep defending Fox in other venues, such as their seating arrangement in the White House briefing room.

  •  Considering the support Fox got from... (5+ / 0-)

    ... their "sister organizations" like CNN and ABC, NBC, etc, back in year one of the Obama Administration, when the Administration dared actually speak some truth's about Fox News, I'm shocked anyone would think the rest of the media is anything other than 100% behind Murdoch's megaphone.

    *The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10*

    by Rick Aucoin on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:30:01 PM PDT

  •  She is functioning as a reporter and deserves (6+ / 0-)

    the protections and concerns due a reporter. However, she doesn't work for a news agency, but a mass-media killer klown posse. Makes it easier to question.

  •  let her rot in jail (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Bush Bites
    •  No. Let her GO to jail, with her head held proudly (13+ / 0-)

      Let her stand up for her Constitutional rights, and let her be supported.

    •  Did you not read the diary (8+ / 0-)

      or understand the importance of her not revealing her source?

      Judy Miller was and is a dispicable person for the wayshe ginned up the case for war in Iraq  but I was 100% behind her when she refused to reveal her source. Just like defending people who I disagree with whole heartedly when their 1st amendment rights are taken away, think Westborough, I will defend a FOX "Journalist" when they refuse to reveal their source.

      That is the only way we will keep these rights.

      Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

      by Mike S on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:04:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree and we should also take the opportunity to (5+ / 0-)

        again and again score FOX as not a strictly news organization.

        I would have to also suggest that this also ginned up outrage to get Fox's opinions folded into the discussion on guns and mental health...mental health being an issue that the NRA wants to be the main issue.

        so:

        1. this is some FOX news bullshit smeared onto some fundamental issues.

        2. she's a reporter who should not be compelled to reveal sources.

        3. the sources could have stolen or tampered with the mail, and that needs whatever forensic effort to be made that can be made.
          Stealing mail is an offense, mail to a mental health professional certainly is as well, tampering with such should be severely dealt with.
           How much other private and personal mail was tampered with, and does the tampering make the contents not believable now?

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:52:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fox News: (9+ / 0-)

    I may disagree with what they say, but I will defend to the death their right to go to jail over it.

    (Or something like that....)

  •  I went to jail for the First Amendment (20+ / 0-)

    Back in the summer of '90 or '91, I was at the Homer (AK) News and heard a scanner report of a dead body being found at a certain location.

    Grabbed my camera and raced up there. State Trooper car and Homer police chief were already there. I parked behind the trooper car, well back from where the investigators were standing.

    Took some pics before the trooper saw me. He came over and told me I was not allowed to take photos because they did not know if it was a suicide or a murder. (Turns out it was a suicide.)

    I started back to my car then though about it for a few seconds. He had no right to order me to put down my camera. This was a public scene, outdoors, and I was standing back behind the trooper car so was not trampling on any evidence.

    So I took another couple of photos before the trooper had me in handcuffs and dragged to his car.

    Down to the Homer jail, fingerprinted and photographed. Locked up for an hour or so, until the judge was called in and he immediately dismissed the case and threw out the arrest.

    I'd do it again tomorrow.

  •  Whose media? (6+ / 0-)

    Not our media: their media.

    We dont have a media.

  •  Gunslinger? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, SilentBrook, Kevskos

    The murderer wasn't exactly Wild Bill Hickock.  Adopting a romanticized Wild West term for the defendant seems like a strange thing to do.

  •  What's a Journalist? (10+ / 0-)

    I agree that Winter should be able to protect an anonymous source. But the real problem is what defines a "journalist" who should be shielded? Where's the line?

    Fox isn't really a journalism organization, but it's close enough. The NY Times is a shabby corporatist propaganda rag, too, but it's among the closest to what we consider legitimate journalism. But what about bloggers? Is Meteor Blades a shieldable journalist?

    If MB posted a story in DailyKos reporting that a Colorado uranium mill was polluting the countryside, quoting an anonymous worker there with firsthand experience of dumping, would a court prosecuting the operator be entitled to compell MB to reveal the worker's identity for a subpoena? What if MB were posting in his own blog? What if James O'Keefe or any other hack we hate did? What if Tucker Carlson reported that story (suppose because Obama owns the mill) in the NYT?

    Given the right to free speech includes the right not to speak, and the right not to self incriminate, how can a court put any of us in jail to compel us to reveal who told us what, or anything we wish to remain silent on?

    Maybe we should shield any speech from compelled revealing of its sources, if the speaker can defend it as truth. If it's true, why should anyone have to reveal who told them?

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:00:58 PM PDT

    •  There has been a lot of discussion about (4+ / 0-)

      "what exactly is a journalist today", because of bloggers and other "citizen journalists" in the past few years.

      I don't think we have a good legally recognized definition at this time for anyone outside the mainstream media organizations.


      "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

      by Angie in WA State on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:40:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If the story depended on an anonymous source (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi

      Then that's because there was no other way to show it was true.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:44:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But with so much misinformation out there (0+ / 0-)

        I want to be able to verify my stories.

        I hate to use this site as an example (not really) but our recommended list is a continual example of reacting to stories that can't be verified and we eventually find that the real story tended to very greatly from what was originally diaried.

      •  That's Not Showing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TriciaK

        Since an anonymous source is indistinguishable from "the author made it up", quoting an anonymous source doesn't show anything is true. It's a shortcut, and daily journalism is mostly shortcuts.

        But like anonymous tips to the police that provide valuable leads for investigations (when it's not the police making it up or from illegally obtained evidence), an anonymous source in a story can provide the lead to objective evidence. Or to named sources. Or even to a purely logical analysis with no new evidence, once the useful point of view is discovered with anonymous help.

        So a real journalist could look beyond the anonymous source once tipped. If subpoenaed, they could prove by other means that what the anonymous source said was true, without revealing the source.

        However, if they can't prove it without the anonymous source, their credibility should suffer. If they've got a strong reputation for fact, and little to gain compared to losing it by lying about the anonymous source, that could convince. In reporting that is the main basis for access to an audience. In a court, those distinctions have physical consequences. If a prosecutor (or defender) could prove the quote was false, that could compel a journalist to reveal their source. And indeed there should be more than just a loss of credibility at stake, because modern journalism products show that is no inhibition at all in most cases that define our public knowledge.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:30:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you MB..when did "truth in reporting" die? (0+ / 0-)
  •  What does Fox News have to say about it? (0+ / 0-)

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:02:09 PM PDT

    •  "Freedom of the press!" (0+ / 0-)

      I'm pretty sure they said the opposite about anybody who leaked info on the Bush Admin.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 07:16:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jana Winter is Fox.com reporter (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, chesterdog, roycej, megisi

    and a crappy one at that. I met her at last year's DNC at the bar where many of the delegates were staying (the crappy Blake Hotel). She was trolling for scandal at the bar pumping us for information about other delegates; searching for gossip while downing glass after glass of wine (they were actually acrylic because of the pool side aspect of the bar). She showed up every night - trying to get whatever dirt she could.
    I wouldn't dignify her with the title of reporter - more of a gossip columnist that writes for the Internet version of the Fox republican propaganda wing. She's written lots of crap in the past. Do a search on Fox.com for her past "articles" and see what I mean. I wouldn't lift a finger for an Internet pest like her. She told me she went to Columbia School of Journalism. If she did then Columbia failed us all (in full disclosure - I graduated from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs -SIPA).
    I respect Meteor Blades, but I'm not doing anything to support Winter.

    •  The point is not to support Winter (10+ / 0-)

      the point -- I believe -- is to support the principle.  Two different things, though sometimes hard to separate, I'll admit.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:16:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you read her "work" you'll see she's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bush Bites, chesterdog

        not much for employing journalistic standards, something that might protect her. Instead she employes her employer's tactics of innuendo, false equivalencies and other nonsense. In my opinion you have to be a journalist to invoke journalistic shield. Defending her implies she's a journalist, something so far from the truth it's painful.

        •  well... there is that (shrug) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CharlesInCharge, MJB

          ...but I'm one who tends to think in this case the underlying principle is far more important than the individual person who may or may not be the best exemplar of the profession.  

          ymmv

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 06:31:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Famous 1st amendment case protected Larry Flynt (0+ / 0-)

            There was a famous SCOTUS case many years ago in which the court found in favor of Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine in a lawsuit brought against Flynt by Jerry Falwell.

            If the law protects Larry Flynt and Hustler, it might as well protect Hustler's moral equivalent, Fox News.

            http://www.oyez.org/...

            Hustler Magazine v. Falwell

            A lead story in the November 1983 issue of Hustler Magazine featured a "parody" of an advertisement, modeled after an actual ad campaign, claiming that Falwell, a Fundamentalist minister and political leader, had a drunken incestuous relationship with his mother in an outhouse. Falwell sued to recover damages for libel, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Falwell won a jury verdict on the emotional distress claim and was awarded a total of $150,000 in damages. Hustler Magazine appealed.

            . . .

            In a unanimous opinion the Court held that public figures, such as Jerry Falwell, may not recover for the intentional infliction of emotional distress without showing that the offending publication contained a false statement of fact which was made with "actual malice." The Court added that the interest of protecting free speech, under the First Amendment, surpassed the state's interest in protecting public figures from patently offensive speech, so long as such speech could not reasonably be construed to state actual facts about its subject.

            Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

            by MJB on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:14:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's easy to support a principle (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kimbeaux, NYC Sophia, KenBee, lotlizard

        when you agree with the underlying aspect of it. Supporting free speach for someone protesting war or bank rip offs is quite easy. Supporting the Westborough Baptist Church's right to protest funerals or schools is when you get to see how much you really support free speach.

        Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

        by Mike S on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:29:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Figures. (0+ / 0-)

      She wouldn't miss a beat if given the chance to destroy some poor schmuck delegate's life.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 07:07:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  She's a real piece of work, isn't she? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies, roycej
      Winter had been writing articles about how ACORN, the group of community organizers that ceased to exist more than a year ago, was secretly still operating and was behind the Occupy Wall Street protests. Her stories were obvious fabrications that posed absurd theories wherein the bankrupt ACORN could somehow afford to pay homeless people tens of thousands of dollars to attend rallies that were already populated by thousands of genuine protesters who attended for free.
      http://www.newscorpse.com/...

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 07:19:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  With all due respect, even "crappy" reporters are (0+ / 0-)

      entitled to the principle that the confidentiality of their sources must be safeguarded over all other considerations in the interest of transparency.

      If we start carving exceptions for 'crappy' reporters, we are soon down the rabbit hole of pure executive or judicial whim. Can anyone say "Hello Star Chamber, v 2.0?"

      •  press badge isn't a suicide pact (0+ / 0-)

        maybe crappy reporters who don't have the respect of their peers cannot expect their peers to back them up when they get in trouble.

        Especially when they get in trouble for doing something stupid.

      •  except she's not a reporter... (0+ / 0-)

        She's a Fox.com writer. She just writes whatever she thinks will work for the site. Go to Fox.com and search for her "articles." They are a handful of dreck, not journalism. Giving her the label of journalist dilutes the ever shrinking field of real journalists that might need protection when they actually write about something significant and need to protect a real source, not just some drunk tea bagger in a bar. Those are her normal sources. I know, I watched her at work at the bar at the Blake hotel during the DNC last year in Charlotte.

  •  Three cheers for supporting a principle! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike S, NYC Sophia, KenBee, lotlizard

    This is an important diary.

    Thanks.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:10:59 PM PDT

  •  ??? (4+ / 0-)

    Your post does not make clear what source Winter is protecting. If a prosecutor or cop selectively leaked information to the media that could prejudice a potential juror against a defendant, that person deserves to be fired. There appears to be no question here of a whistleblower situation, where the leak informs the public of something they need to know for their own safety, that the gov is trying to keep secret. Instead, it seems to be that Winter is protecting people who are denying the defendant his right to a fair trial (a right guaranteed by our Constitution even to the very wicked). There's also the issue of privacy of medical records, which the notebook may well be.

    That's if I read the situation correctly, which is very hard to do because of your lack of specificity of the actual chain of events here.

    Democracy - Not Plutocracy!

    by vulcangrrl on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:44:24 PM PDT

  •  Jana Winters, protecting a faux reporter is not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, chesterdog

    in my DNA.  If she wishes to report on truth in news, there are other options.  Sorry MB, you are to kind.  Perhaps, I'm to cruel?

    •  Nah, you're right. (0+ / 0-)

      In the ideological war between left and right, there are no non-combatants.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 07:01:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What if (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TampaCPA

    her source is the DA or her own IT department, all she is doing is furthering the breaking of law.  I do not see it as journalism, there is no need for the general public to know this information.  What public good had she advanced.

    This is someones personal information, it is also part of a trial.  This was not news.  She should have done the responsible thing and notified the police that she was being giving evidence.  If she reported it after the trial I would stand behind her 100% because it would be news then.

    Reporters, like all citizens have responsibilities.  That is why Judith Miller went to jail, she should have called the FBI and turned Libby in.  If they did not do anything she would have had a valid story and maybe a source to protect.

  •  Are you sure you belong here, MB? (0+ / 0-)

    Too much honesty and integrity is not a good thing when talking politics.

    Or so I gather.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:29:06 PM PDT

  •  I am not sure about this whole deal (0+ / 0-)

    as there was a gag order issued by the judge.  As someone who has been under a gag order I was told only that I could not talk about the case to the media and they could not ask me about it either.  Apparently, in high profile cases like these, the media will often pre-clear information they find with law enforcement.  They are under no obligation to follow the wishes of Law Enforcement though.  But the reason the media do this is to get some verification or even as a fishing expedition since police often will not reveal information as part of a strategy for future prosecution or even an arrest.

    I was also under the impression she works for the local Fox affiliate or if she writes exclusively for Fox.com, then she may be under the umbrella of the local station and the news director.  I will tell you their ethics under this news director are not of the first order.  In fact, a local PIO publicly dissed the local Fox affiliate during one of his press conferences on another case.  They were asked not to publish because part of the information was not factual and the investigation was ongoing, they published it anyway.   There was no gag order at the time as the police had not made an arrest yet but they were holding some info pretty close to the chest for a reason.  

    But, I still don't believe she should be jailed for not revealing her source.  As you said, it was irrelevant to the case.

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:02:00 PM PDT

  •  I think the prominent sentiment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TriciaK

    among the media is: it's Fox, I hate them, who cares?"

    To which I would reply "First they came for Fox..."

  •  Judge has deferred the trial (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, Dogs are fuzzy

    http://www.politico.com/...

    On Monday, District Court Judge Carlos Samour Jr. ruled that the case was not "ripe" for a final decision, as he must first decide whether the notebook was admissible as evidence in Holmes's own trial. The judge did not say when, if ever, Winter's trial would resume.

    Full details at FoxNews.com.

    "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)

    by MTmofo on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 06:52:14 PM PDT

  •  Eh. I gave at the office. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 06:57:49 PM PDT

  •  fox noise and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites

    reporter are an oxymoron, imho!

  •  One of the best threads I have read thus far (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos

    on Daily Kos (still something of a neophyte here). Many thanks for publishing it.

  •  Fox practices so little journalism that i'm not... (0+ / 0-)

    surprised.  I suppose she deserves support for acting like a journalist. She's kind of like the German that just served in the military during WWII but didn't commit atrocities, but--ugh--what a terrible outfit she works in. She may be a rare journalist in a viper pit of propagandists.

    “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to ...the TEA Party."

    by StevenJoseph on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:56:17 PM PDT

    •  she's not a journalis. She is a snake that wanted (0+ / 0-)

      to do us harm in NC during the DNC last year. She was swilling her wine and was loud and obnoxious. Go to Fox.com and read the shit she wrote. It's trash. She is not a reporter, more like a gossip columnist that makes up stuff from her imagination. Knowing her, she probably stole the notebook...

  •  Not a news outlet, not a journalist (0+ / 0-)

    Let her rot.

  •  dont do the crime if you can not do the time (0+ / 0-)

    When reporters get confidential information on criminal cases or national security issues that they know they are not supposed to have, they need to not disseminate it. It is not all about them and getting a scoop. This is similar to insider trading- it is not right.

  •  Defendant (0+ / 0-)

    What the story, like most of the comments, ignores is the US Constitution.

    Amendment 6:

    In all criminal prosecutions, the defendant shall enjoy the right ... to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor ...
    That doesn't mean that he can subpoena witnesses and they can decline to testify if they have a real good excuse.

    It means that the defendant can demand testimony from anyone, and the court will enforce that demand. Since, in this case, it is the defense which is calling for that testimony, the Constitution requires the judge to enforce that call.

    Now, some guys in the news business argue that this conflicts with the first amendment. They say that freedom of speech and of the press doesn't mean that each of us has the right to say or print what we choose to. They admit -- sometimes by omission -- that freedom of speech pertains to each of us and gives each of us the same right to speak. But they pretend that freedom of the press establishes a special profession with rights greater than anyone else, the right to ignore any law that they claim impedes them in practicing their profession.

    To argue that requires the belief that the founding fathers wrote in a remarkably cryptic fashion and with remarkable foresight. The OED can find no use of "the press" to mean the newspaper business before the Constitution was written. So, the same phrase contains two nouns in parallel with two entirely different meanings of freedom attached to them, one of them using a word with an essentially new meaning.

    If, OTOH, we read "freedom of speech and of the press" to mean that any of us can say or print what we wish, then the parallel construction deals with parallel rights, and quite similar rights.  

    And, of course, the special rights-for-a-special-occupation argument raises the problem of defining the occupation, much less defining the rights. If I receive information which I don't want to disclose to a court, does it count if I later start a free paper that I pass out to the houses on my block? Does it count that I publish occasional diaries on dKos? Does it count if I decide that I'm going to write a book about it, sometime?

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