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San Francisco reporters appeal jail order
Posted by James Arnold at 9/22/2006 7:24:00 AM
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Two reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle (Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada) would rather go to jail than give up their source(s) for the Barry Bonds grand jury testimony. It's somewhat amazing that judges would still threaten to jail journalists who won't give up their sources. It's a badge of honor for a reporter to go to jail for this cause. In fact, no legitimate news organization would ever hire them again if they did give up their sources. That would mean Williams and Fainaru-Wada would spend the rest of their news-gathering years working on some cable news station. Who wouldn't choose jail over that?


Also, it's one thing to put a reporter in jail if for example she has information about someone outing an undercover CIA agent - (I'm not arguing the facts in that case - only saying that if that were true, you could see a compelling interest in getting to the bottom of THAT). But for Bonds' and this stupid steroids story, you're seriously going to put someone in jail? Who cares anymore about that crap... Baseball turned a blind eye to McGwire/Sosa, and now it's reaping what it sowed.
Posted by cliss at 9/22/2006 10:21:00 AM
Where's the national shield law for reporters? Don't we want whistle blowers protected? The current trend of throwing reporters in jail is silly when they don't committ the crime but just are being the messenger. When in doubt freedom of press!
Posted by schoenke at 9/22/2006 3:53:00 PM
I thought the liberal of all liberal states (California) has shield laws protecting journalists from revealing their sources. I take it this situation is different with Big Brother involved because the case has federal implications with potential perjury and obstruction of justice by government officials? By the way, I don't see anything wrong with working for a cable TV news station. The one I work for pays very well and I couldn't be happier. Hard print has been dying, losing money and merging over the years for a reason ... Herbie
Posted by Seahawks#45 at 9/23/2006 3:50:00 PM
There's a difference between shining the light on Government/Corporate malfeasance, and shining the light on a baseball player taking steroids.

Grand Jury testimony is supposed to be sacred turf - the fact that it's not allowed to leak is what allows people to testify so openly there. Before we put them up for martyrdom here, ask what they're really protecting - basically, their right to sell a book. They actually fostered the committing of a crime by reporting, nay, writing a book about, leaked grand jury testimony. Any competent reporter knows the rules about grand jury testimony, so there's no confusion here. They knowingly broke the law, and now they have to face the music.
Posted by Erickson at 9/25/2006 10:45:00 AM
Dead on Jeff, couldn't agree more. These guys did this for nothing more than attention(I saw them on about every network), and money, while knowing full well what they were reporting had serious consequences behind it. Did they expect the government to just sit there and lay a dead eye to it? Didn't they also leak the testimony of Giambi also?

Posted by schwang2u at 9/25/2006 11:01:00 PM

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