Friday, November 12, 2004

Good-Bye Freedom Of Press

In the last few months, three different U.S. federal judges, each appointed by President Ronald Reagan, have found a total of eight journalists in contempt of court for refusing to reveal confidential sources, and the first of them may go to prison before the year is out. Some of the rest may be in prison by spring.

The first reporter likely to go to jail is Jim Taricani, a television reporter for the NBC station in Providence. Taricani obtained and broadcast, completely legally, a videotape of a city official as he accepted an envelope full of cash.

U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres found Taricani in contempt for refusing to identify the person he got the videotape from, and the judge fined him $1,000 a day. That hasn't broken Taricani, so Torres has set a hearing for Nov. 18 to decide whether to squeeze him by throwing him in jail.

Read the other two examples here.


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