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Catherine Herridge Accuses CBS Of ‘Journalistic Rape’ For Seizing Her Belongings


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Daily Caller

Award-winning investigative journalist Catherine Herridge accused her former employer CBS of “journalistic rape” after the network seized her records and files following her departure.

Herridge became one of 800 staffers to get laid off from CBS during its massive purge of employees in February. She was the subject of a First Amendment legal fight at the time of her departure over her refusal to disclose her source for investigative pieces she wrote for Fox News in 2017 regarding a federal probe about Yanping Chen, a Chinese American scientist, who sued the federal government for allegedly leaking private information to the journalist.


CBS allegedly seized her computers, records and files and locked Herridge out of her email upon informing her of the lay off, which she eventually received back, Jonathan Turley wrote. CBS staffers sounded the alarm on the alleged action to Turley, saying they had never seen such a seizure before.

Herridge confirmed to Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan that her position got terminated after she reported facts that painted President Joe Biden’s administration in a negative light.

“When the network of Walter Cronkite seizes your reporting files, including confidential source information, that is an attack on investigative journalism,” Herridge said.:snip:

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Sharyl Attkisson To House Judiciary Committee: What Happens If Journalists Can't Protect Confidential Sources?


SHARYL ATTKISSON: In decades of reporting nationally at CNN, CBS, PBS, and for the last nine years on my TV show "Full Measure," countless new stories that I broke or facets of them could not even reported without sources whose identities need to be protected. To name just a few: Enron, BP oil spill, TARP bank bailout, follow-the-money investigations on taxpayer spending, congressional oversight, congressional fundraising, prescription drug and vaccine dangers, Haiti earthquake aid, K Street lobbying, green energy failures, waste and fraud at the Red Cross, Firestone Tires, Benghazi, and "Fast and Furious."


The last 12 stories I mentioned, thanks to some information provided by sources who could not be quoted by name, received recognition from the Emmy Awards. Multiply that by thousands of reporters and countless stories and it's fair to argue that a lot of important facts would never have been exposed if journalists couldn't ensure protection of our sensitive sources' identities.


Today’s managed information landscape makes it more difficult for journalists and our sources to report on ethical lapses, wrongdoing, and crimes. More often than not, the truth-teller, when named, is smeared and ruined while the wrongdoers carry on. They escape accountability and may even get promoted. You've seen what’s happened to Assange and Snowden. Their earth-shattering revelations quickly eclipsed by organized efforts to distract by controversializing them. :snip:

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Apr 11, 2024

Former CBS Reporter Catherine Herridge led off witness testimony on Thursday at a House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government hearing on "Fighting for a Free Press: Protecting Journalists and their Sources." Ms. Herridge was held in contempt and subject to daily fines of $800 per day for not revealing sources for a story to the federal government. The hearing centers around The Press Act which, if passed, would offer journalists more protections for themselves or their sources.

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Apr 11, 2024

At today's House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) questioned Sharyl Attkisson about her reporting of the Fast and Furious and Benghazi scandals.

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The Reporter Fighting for America’s Free Press

Catherine Herridge could face a daily $800 fine for refusing to give up her sources. This week, she went to Congress to defend the First Amendment.

The Free Press

April 12, 2024

As the old saying goes, a journalist is only as good as her sources. In 2024, it’s not just a cliché; it’s a warning. The right of reporters to protect the officials and whistleblowers who take great risks to get information to the public is now in jeopardy. 

At the center of this fight is Catherine Herridge, one of the most respected national security reporters in Washington. In February, she was abruptly fired from CBS News during a round of layoffs. This was strange considering that Herridge is a scoop-getter. She broke the first story on how al-Qaeda’s English-language recruiter, Anwar al-Awlaki, was in contact with the 9/11 hijackers, and that Hunter Biden’s laptop was authentic and in the custody of the FBI. 

What made it even more alarming was that her notes and files, which contained information on her sources, were seized by her former employer. CBS even locked her out of her own office. She eventually retrieved her personal property, but only after enlisting the help of her union.

But just as one problem was resolved, Herridge faced another threat. In a separate civil lawsuit, a federal judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to disclose her sources in her investigation into a taxpayer-funded school in Virginia run by a woman with alleged links to the Chinese military.

In both cases, Herridge’s promise to protect her sources was threatened. In both cases, she refused to break that promise. 

Yesterday, Herridge testified in favor of a new bill that would prohibit the federal government from compelling journalists to disclose information on their sources. Here is her testimony before the House, championing the Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying—or PRESS—Act, in a hearing that was titled “Fighting for a Free Press.”



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