Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 8 August 2023

Press Freedom Under Fire: Federal Judge Orders Former Fox Reporter To Reveal Sources In Controversial FBI Case (The revolution always eats its own)

A federal judge recently ruled that investigative reporter Catherine Herridge must reveal her sources for an investigative series involving an FBI investigation into a Chinese scientist named Yanping Chen.

Herridge, currently with CBS News – but was was employed by Fox News at the time of the reports – must sit for a deposition and answer questions under oath about the identity and intent of her sources, per US District Judge Christopher Cooper.

“The Court recognizes both the vital importance of a free press and the critical role that confidential sources play in the work of investigative journalists like Herridge,” wrote Cooper, and Obama appointee, in a 28-page ruling. “But applying the binding case law of this Circuit, the Court concludes that Chen’s need for the requested evidence overcomes Herridge’s qualified First Amendment privilege in this case.”

Cooper’s ruling has raised alarms with press freedom advocates, who argue that the ruling threatens the fundamental principle of journalists protecting their sources.

“Investigative journalism cannot function without credible assurances of confidentiality to sources,” said Gabe Rottman, a director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, in a statement to CNN. “While the Privacy Act provides essential protections for the public, using it to breach reporter-source confidentiality poses significant risks to a free press.”

Legal representatives for Herridge and Fox News argued that the First Amendment shields journalists from such demands, and say that Chen’s case didn’t meet the criteria to violate this constitutional protection. They asserted that the public interest in safeguarding sources far outweighed the plaintiff’s demand for information, which carried no broader societal significance.

While the U.S. Constitution protects journalists’ right to shield their sources, the courts have acknowledged that certain circumstances, such as a critical need for information and exhaustive exploration of alternatives, can justify compelling a reporter to reveal sources.

“The balance of interests overwhelmingly favors protecting sources,” said Herridge’s legal team. “Plaintiff’s private interest in Privacy Act damages carries no broader public interest. Moreover, given the infirmities in the merits of her case, it is unlikely that Plaintiff can ever establish significant damages at all.

Since filing the lawsuit against the FBI and other federal agencies, Ms. Chen has been able to take 18 depositions of current and former government employees and obtained declarations from others but has still been unable to confirm Ms. Herridge’s sources. She believes an FBI agent, an alleged FBI informant, or other government agents leaked an internal FBI presentation created by the agent to Ms. Herridge. –Epoch Times

“The identity of Herridge’s source is central to Chen’s claim, and despite exhaustive discovery, Chen has been unable to ferret out his or her identity. The only reasonable option left is for Chen to ask Herridge herself,” wrote the judge.

Read More: Press Freedom Under Fire: Federal Judge Orders Former Fox Reporter To Reveal Sources In Controversial FBI Case

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