The Limits of Press Freedom

This decision of the US District Court in DC, Friday, reaffirming a prior decision, is a good illsutration of the same principle that underlay the courts’ refusal to allow press freedom to trump the needs of Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation in the Plame case. The court here allowed a subpoena to a financial publisher (McGraw-Hill) who published market prices, so as to permit an investigation of an energy company accused of false reporting of those prices. The take-home lesson is that when the media is used as a necessary conduit in an alleged criminal act, it can’t hide behind the First Amendment to avoid giving evidence.

3 thoughts on “The Limits of Press Freedom”

  1. Good synopsis. And if I judge your tone correctly, we both agree its not a bad standard.
    The NYT learned only recently with Judith Miller that the press can’t take unlimited privilage in protecting their sources. You would think the Old Gray Lady already should have grasped this, but its publisher acted if this was Times v. Sullivan all over again. I think they called up Bob Dylan to sing some background music for their newsroom while Miller futily sat in prison.
    Tim Russert on the other hand fought the subpeona in court, lost, appealed, lost and then testified. Sounds reasonable to me.

Comments are closed.