It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

POLITICS: Reporter Convicted for Protecting Source

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 12:13 PM
link   
A television reporter, Jim Taricani, has gone to jail to protect his source. The reporter for WJAR-TV aired a videotape of a city official taking a bribe. The airing was not illegal, but a special prosecutor was appointed to determine who had leaked the tape. The tape was part a federal corruption probe. The judge initially had imposed a $1,000 a day fine and the reporters station had payed $85,000 before the judge suspended the fines and proceeded with a criminal prosecution of the reporter. He could stay jailed for as much a sixth months.

 



news.yahoo.com
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A television reporter was convicted of criminal contempt Thursday for refusing to say who gave him an FBI videotape showing a city official taking a bribe.

Jim Taricani, of WJAR-TV, faces up to six months in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 9 by U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres.

Taricani, 55, broke no law by repeatedly airing the tape, but a special prosecutor was appointed to find out who leaked it because the court had ordered attorneys, investigators and defendants not to disseminate any tapes connected to a federal corruption probe during former Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci Jr.'s administration.

The tape, which shows an undercover FBI informant giving a cash-stuffed envelope to top Cianci aide Frank Corrente, aired in 2001, two months before Cianci, Corrente and others were indicted in the investigation code-named "Operation Plunder Dome." Cianci and Corrente were convicted and are serving time in federal prison.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Reporters have historically protected their sources. If they fail to do so, they simply lose all credibility. Now there may be political motives behind a lot of the people that provide the information, but this protect whistle blowers as well. How would have journalism been different if Deepthroat had decided to keep quiet because he could not have trusted Woodward and Bernstein?




posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 12:18 PM
link   
Edit. To tired to think.


[edit on 18-11-2004 by Jonna]



posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 12:19 PM
link   
i really do not like judges, ,poor guy..............



posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 12:55 PM
link   
This reporter should be proud of himself. It is the responsibility of a journalist to protect his/her sources. The government has been interfering in matters of press quite a bit lately. I'm glad he is sticking to his guns on this.



posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 01:11 PM
link   
It's a little more complex than it initially appears:


Torres noted that Channel 10 broadcast the secret videotape in February 2001 although [Senior U.S. District Judge Ronald R.] Lagueux had ordered lawyers to keep the tape confidential. Torres said the "protective order" was meant to ensure a fair trial for Frank E. Corrente, the top Cianci aide shown in the video accepting a cash bribe, and to avoid compromising a grand jury investigation of Cianci, who was indicted two months later and eventually convicted of racketeering conspiracy.

Torres cited the U.S. Supreme Court's 1972 decision in Branzburg v. Hayes, which held that a journalist has no First Amendment privilege to refuse to disclose the identity of a confidential source to a grand jury investigating a crime when that information is relevant to the investigation.


From everything I've read, Judge Torres seems like a straight shooter. Like it or not, he's following legal precedent.


source:
www.projo.com...



posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 01:14 PM
link   
Can you here it? I can hear it. Its comming in the distance. Real quiet now. *in a far off whisper* Seig hiel! Seig Heil!



posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 01:23 PM
link   
I think that law needs to be ammended. Did they have a lack of evidence in order to determine that this bribe took place? If so , I can see the need to reveal the source strictly to a closed jury alone. If there is enough evidence, for example a video tape of it, I don't know if it is necessary to demand the leak is exposed. What constitutes enough evidence? I'm not sure. I'm sure all of these things were argued, but I don't know enough details from the precedings. I just think the lsw should be ammended to consider the protection of whistleblowers.



posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 01:40 PM
link   
So, let me get this straight:

1) Corruption in Providence is running rampant, with bribes, kick-backs, and other assorted illegal goodies in every office of the mayor and his cronies.

2) Feds decide to step in and clean up the mess, and start an undercover operation designed to purge Providence of corrupt politicians.

3) During the undercover investigation, some scumbag working for the feds leaks this tape to the press.

4) Press airs the tape, ruining millions of dollars worth of undercover work.

5) Feds get steamed, people are outraged. The criminals, realizing they are being watch by the feds, clam up and get suspicious.

6) Prosecution of Cianci and his cronies are hindered and much potential evidence is lost. Some cronies are not charged, despite strong circumstantial evidence that they are corrupt.

7) Feds and judges get pissed, and want the scumbag wo leaked the tape. Reporter clams up, refusing to give up the source (in my opinion, becasue the insider will most likely say that the reporter paid him for the tape, thus the reporter has a great reason to stay silent).

8) Meanwhile, crook go free and taxpayers money is wasted...again. If this reporter is aware of a criminal act (leaking federal criminal evidence) then he should come forth, and not have to be compelled to give up what he knows.

As far as I am concerned, the reporter is just as guilty for shielding the leaker as the leaker is himself. Period. Let him rot in jail for a year. Even if he doesn't talk, at least someone will have paid for the crime.





posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 02:15 PM
link   
Sandge, I don't see how the Branzburg v. Hayes decision is relevant. Your blurb says that Branzburg concerns disclosure of the identity of a confidential source to a grand jury investigating a crime when that information is relevant to the investigation. The grand jury was investigating Cianci. The prosecutors had possession of the tape of Corrente taking the bribe. How is the identity of the leak relevant to the grand jury investigation of Cianci. It isn't. It is only relevant for purposes of identifying the leak so that he can be sanctioned. If this reported discloses the identity of his confidential source there will be chilling effect on future disclosures to reporters. Frankly, I'd rather have people in government feel they are safe in making confidential disclosures to the press than at risk of being exposed whenever some prosecutor or judge turns up the heat.

Pyros, I would agree with you if what you say could be shown to be what happened here. But you don't know why the leak gave the tape to the reporter. Maybe it was the public airing of the tape that led to the prosecution of the corrupt politicians. You don't know. Your harsh judgment of the reporter is premature and unjustified. Obviously, the person who leaked the tape took a big risk in doing so. You judge that person to be a condemnable scumbag. However, I doubt it is that simple. The reporter is showing an incredible degree of integrity by protecting his source and accepting the judge's snaction of incarceration under these circumstances.



posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 02:39 PM
link   

Originally posted by dubiousone
Sandge, I don't see how the Branzburg v. Hayes decision is relevant.


The 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees with you:


June 21, 2004 A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston rejects every argument made by Taricani's lawyers, upholding the civil contempt finding and the $1,000-a-day fine. They cite the 1972 U.S. Supreme Court case of Branzburg v. Hayes, which rejected the contention that reporters have a First Amendment right to refuse to answer "relevant questions put to them in the course of a grand jury investigation or criminal trial."


I didn't say I *liked* the decision, dubiousone, just that Judge Torres was indeed following legal precedent.



posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 03:08 PM
link   
Right on! He's a stand up guy in my book. He stood up for what he thinks is right and he's paying the price for it. Funny how those in law enfocement & the court system always think they're above all else. He didn't snitch & they can't get their man what a shame.



posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 03:30 PM
link   
People have put forth some good arguments. However, besides the politics there are few thing at issue here.

We have a free press. You have to take the good with the bad. What if Nixon had been able to procecute W&B and scilence thier deepthroat source?

If they are going to apply this standard to journalist, who is next? Maybe you won't go to your doctor cause you are afraid he will fess up to the feds that he suspects you are mentally unstable. etc etc.

It seems that it opens a whole can of worms IMHO and no good can come of it.



posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 05:19 PM
link   

Originally posted by Kidfinger
Can you here it? I can hear it. Its comming in the distance. Real quiet now. *in a far off whisper* Seig hiel! Seig Heil!


Well, you better then go see a psychiatrist...hearing things that are not there is not a good sign....just in case you didn't know...



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 12:15 AM
link   
.
FredT, didn't you support Bush?
What are you expecting?

.



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 12:18 AM
link   

Originally posted by slank
.
FredT, didn't you support Bush?
What are you expecting?

.


Slank,

Yes I did, however, this issue had been decided before the election and the judge If I recall was a Democratic appointee. I may be wrong, I tried to find a link for this but could not. However, yopu have to take the good with the bad, and Bush represents a better choice for my family. But we are off topic



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 12:26 AM
link   
Amazing on how are freedom of speech is being reduced every day isn't it? I mean a reporter sentenced to jail for not giving up one of his sources thats not right. I am proud of this reporter and I hope he never waivers in his ethics.



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 12:27 AM
link   
.
The Bushie ideology is 'the government is ALWAYs right' even when it's wrong.

Freedom of the Press? only when it agrees with the government.

There is a law floating around to allow the Congress to over-ride the Supreme Court.
.



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 12:35 AM
link   
Ah... locking up the press for not doing as told by the government. A true mark of communisim.



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 08:01 AM
link   

Originally posted by FredT

Yes I did, however, this issue had been decided before the election and the judge If I recall was a Democratic appointee.


He was a Reagan appointee to the fed. court, at least. From the ProJo link I referenced above:



In 1987, President Reagan appointed Torres to the U.S. District Court on the recommendation of Republican Sen. John H. Chafee, and in 1999 he became the District Court's chief judge.



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 09:07 AM
link   
I wonder why Bob Novak hasn't been prosecuted for not revealing the source who told him Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. You'd think that they would just send him to Gitmo and put him in a few stress positions until he spilled his guts about the leak that comprimised US intelligence.



new topics

top topics



 
0

log in

join