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ABC Backs Withholding Evidence In Cop Beating

From the professional twisters of facts at ABC News:

Jailed Blogger Could Spend a Year in Detention

Dana Hughes Reports:

A federal appeals court has refused to hear the case blogger and freelance journalist, Josh Wolf, who now could end up spending almost a year in prison for his refusal to turn over unedited video of a San Francisco protest he filmed over a year ago.

Wolf posted footage of the 2005 violent protest on his blog, which was picked up by local and national media. During the filmed incident, a police car was vandalized.

Though Wolf denies he filmed the actual attack on the police car, in September a federal judge ordered him to testify and turn over all of the footage, which he refused. According to the new ruling, if he doesn’t turn over the footage and his sources, he will remain in custody until July 2007, when the grand jury expires.

Lucie Morillon, of Reporters Without Borders calls the Federal appeals court decision "absurd."

"Josh Wolf is about to set a precedent as the longest reporter held in the United State s for refusing to disclose his sources," Says Morillon. "He’s not a criminal, he was just protecting his sources which is something many journalists have to do."

Dave Heller of the Media Law Resource Center, an legal organization specializing in first amendment rights, says the burden should fall on the government to prove that a journalist’s materials are absolutely needed for a case. He says Wolfe’s jailing is especially troubling.

"The request for information to get his tapes does seem to be somewhat removed from the focus of the investigation, or at least nothing essential to it," says Heller. "In that setting it’s troublesome that the consequence for not cooperating is to be thrown into jail for a lengthy period of time."

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, who prosecuted the case against Wolf says "the incident is under investigation so that the grand jury can determine what, if any, crimes were committed." and that, "this office did not initiate a federal investigation in order to circumvent the California State Shield law.

Morillon says jailing journalists for protecting sources is becoming a "chilling trend" in the United States. "More and more journalists are being subpoenaed by federal courts, they are being forced to reveal their sources," she says.

"If confidentiality of sources can’t be granted, where is journalism going to go?"

Last month in Reporter’s Without Borders annual ranking of press freedom, the United States dropped nine places to number 53, in line with such countries as Botswana, Croatia, and Tonga.

This report from Brian Ross’s "Blotter" perfectly illustrates the bald-faced lies that we are fed as "news" everyday by so-called journalists. The article lies about the facts of the case, and it lies by omission as well.

Just for starters:

Morillon says jailing journalists for protecting sources is becoming a "chilling trend" in the United States. "More and more journalists are being subpoenaed by federal courts, they are being forced to reveal their sources," she says. "If confidentiality of sources can’t be granted, where is journalism going to go?"

What "source" is being protected here? This kid took the video himself.

Moreover, Josh Wolf is not a journalist. He is a lunatic leftwing blogger.

Wolf posted some home videos about a leftwing riot he attended on his blog site. His footage captured the brutal, near-fatal beating of a policeman. Not just the "vandalizing of a police car" as the article claims.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

When Anarchists Attack

Cinnamon Stillwell
Wednesday, July 20, 2005

San Franciscans were shocked to hear this month that a police officer had been clubbed over the head by members of Anarchist Action marching through the Mission District to protest the Group of Eight summit. But anyone who follows the political scene in San Francisco should have seen this coming…

This is a photo of the officer who was brutally attacked:

This vicious attack is celebrated in the despicable SF Indymedia.

Mr. Wolf refuses to turn over the video footage of this beating to the proper authorities, so that the perpetrator can be brought to justice as the law requires.

Instead, our hero has decided he can make more of a name for himself — and some real money — by pretending to be a journalist standing upon some imagined journalistic privilege.

In reality, however, journalists have no more rights than the rest of us. Not even Brian Ross can legally withhold evidence of a crime.

Still reporters like to trot out this fantasy of theirs in addition to their usual mendacities every chance they get. Yet, heaven forbid, when a journalist gets even the slightest injury on the job it is headline news for weeks.

Please note that ABC News, being the professional journalists they are, don’t believe that their readers deserve to hear any of the actual facts of the story.

Withholding information from the public is another one of their presumed privileges.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Saturday, November 18th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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