You Are Only Allowed To Be A Whistleblower On Certain Crimes

The Federalist posted an article today about the State of California’s legal case against David Daleiden. David Daleiden is director of the Center for Medical Progress, the group that exposed the sale of aborted baby body parts by Planned Parenthood.

The article reports:

An undercover reporter has been arraigned in California and charged with ten felonies for secretly recording conversations, and it’s time to revisit how the judiciary and the law can stifle the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press.

The accused, David Daleiden, used standard media undercover techniques to investigate and expose Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted fetus body parts. While the use of undercover techniques like Daleiden’s is a controversial practice even within journalism circles, Daleiden’s upcoming jury trial has far wider implications for journalists.

Namely, can and should government criminalize undercover reporting, which historically has revealed otherwise hidden wrongdoing of all kinds?

The article cites the history of investigative journalism:

Let’s first put aside that Daleiden, as director of the Center for Medical Progress, is a pro-life activist—which is not a crime. He should have the same right to penetrate the practices of America’s abortion providers and report his findings just as other reporters and publications investigate other matters.

Consider the multitude of covertly conducted investigations exposing threats to public health and safety, racism, and various other injustices, dating back to the dawn of our republic. To mention a few: In a classic case of disguised reporters using hidden cameras, ABC “Prime Time Live” outed Food Lion’s alleged unsanitary food handling practices. “Dateline” NBC deployed decoys and hidden cameras to expose men who solicited sex with minors on the Internet. Vanity Fair had a clandestine reporter join a tour group to the Holy Land to probe then-President George W. Bush’s alleged ties to religious right leaders.

Undercover Chicago Tribune reporters, working from the inside as employees, exposed life-threatening conditions in nursing homes. Another Tribune reporter worked undercover in the city’s election board to reveal widespread election fraud. Chicago Sun-Times reporters, working inside, turned up dangerous practices at abortion clinics. The paper also opened a bar, the Mirage, in a sting using hidden cameras to bare shakedowns by city inspectors.

Unfortunately, David Daleiden exposed something that the media did not want exposed.

The article concludes:

Even if the government’s action were bias-free, Daleiden’s pursuit still jeopardizes quality journalism. The California accusations are based on the claim his targets had an expectation of privacy even when the conversations were conducted in a public place, like a restaurant or hotel convention hall, where bystanders could hear them. It’s a ludicrous assertion, a gross misinterpretation, and an undue and overbroad extension of the law.

…The Los Angeles Times deemed the prosecution “disturbingly aggressive” and an “overreach.”

Possible prison sentences and burdensome fines attached to criminal conduct cannot be ignored in this debate. They are more than a disincentive to expose wrongdoing; they give the upper hand to criminal enterprises, powerful corporations, avenging politicians, ideologues, and special interests to protect themselves from public condemnation and costly penalties for misconduct. This is not a loophole that the Founding Fathers had in mind when they crafted the constitutional protection of freedom of the press.

Even those who disagree with Daleiden and his techniques but care about how the precedent-setting legal actions against him that could define press freedom in the future need to follow this case as it winds through the legal system, possibly all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the problem with Planned Parenthood continues. Millions of aborted baby body parts continue to be sold. No one in Congress has the backbone to make this totally illegal–the Democrats are being paid off by Planned Parenthood PAC’s and the Republicans have no spine.

A Bad Decision May Eventually Have Good Results

The Federalist posted an article today about the recent California jury decision that found undercover journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt and several of their associates guilty of trespass, breach of contract and of non-disclosure agreements, and fraud, as well as state and federal laws prohibiting the unconsented recordings of third parties. The California-based jury also found that Daleiden and the other defendants had violated the federal Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law—a federal statute that triples any damage award. The defendants were also hit with punitive damages exceeding $800,000.

The article reports:

On Friday, a jury awarded Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and multiple Planned Parenthood affiliates, damages set to exceed $2.3 million in their civil case against undercover journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt and several of their associates. The country’s largest cohort of abortion providers sued Daleiden and his colleagues after the 2015 release of a series of investigative videos that exposed Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in fetal parts.

The article explains why the case will probably eventually make its way to the Supreme Court:

Daleiden’s lead attorney, Peter Breen, of the public policy legal firm Thomas More Society, promised an appeal. “We intend to seek vindication for David on appeal,” Breen said in a press release. “This lawsuit is payback for David Daleiden exposing Planned Parenthood’s dirty business of buying and selling fetal parts and organs,” Breen added, noting, “We intend to seek vindication for David on appeal. His investigation into criminal activity by America’s largest abortion provider utilized standard investigative journalism techniques, those applied regularly by news outlets across the country.”

Breen has several solid grounds for appeal, and initially will likely challenge presiding judge William Orrick III’s refusal to recuse from the case. While appellate courts are hesitant to second-guess a trial court’s decision on whether recusal is required, in this case the facts strongly suggest recusal was required.

Specifically, Judge Orrick was a founder and a longtime officer and director of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, an organization which, according to Daleiden, houses and participates in a joint venture with one of the named Planned Parenthood affiliates. Further, during the pendency of this case, as Breen pointed out in briefing, Orrick was “held out to the public as serving as an Emeritus Board Member of [the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center].”

Judge Orrick’s refusal to allow Daleiden and the other defendants to testify concerning their reasonable beliefs about abuses in the fetal tissue business, from harvesting of organs from born-alive babies to selling tissue and body parts for profit, as well as the judge’s decision barring the admission of the video evidence, will also be areas ripe for reversal.

What David Daleiden did used to be called investigative journalism. What he uncovered needed to be uncovered. The only redeeming thing about this case having to go to the Supreme Court is that it will further expose the selling of aborted baby body parts and the callousness of the people in Planned Parenthood who are engaged in these activities. Callousness is not illegal, but selling aborted baby body parts should be.

When Imagination Overtakes Truth

I think I have found one part of the source of the division in America. Breitbart posted the transcript of an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball. Chris Matthews interviewed national security analyst Malcolm Nance.

This is the transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Malcolm, your feelings and thoughts on the last couple days? I haven’t talked to you since these [shootings] have happened.

MALCOLM NANCE: I think that we’re finally in for a great societal change where we’re finally addressing this issue. I wrote a book last year called The Plot to Destroy Democracy, and one of the chapters, I led off with the massacre of 68 children in Norway by the original white supremacist terrorist who created the concept of this terrorist manifesto — Anders Behring Breivik. And he did that because he thought “The Great Replacement” was underway in Norway and that the government was allowing unbridled immigration into that country. So in his trial, he said he massacred those children because he wanted to eliminate the next generation of liberal leadership from Norway as a warning. This country has had several of these mass incidents, but I think we’re overdue for a Breivik-style real massacre of a political nature…

These people feel that they are the foot soldiers and executors of what the disenfranchisement that the white race is feeling, and Donald Trump is giving them subliminal orders in their head. They are no different than the mobilized, self-starting, self-radicalized terrorists of ISIS here in the United States and Europe, who take cars and drive down streets. It’s just that they have a permissive environment in which they can get firearms and go out and attack their perceived enemies.

“Donald Trump is giving them Subliminal orders in their  head”? This passes as news reporting? Anyone who watched this travesty came away with a very distorted view of America and our President. These remarks are incendiary. These remarks will only encourage more unbalanced people to decide to take matters in their own hands. MSNBC should be put on trial for murdering journalism.

 

A Ridiculous Lawsuit

CNS News posted an article today about the suspension of Jim Acosta from the White House Press Corps.

The article reports:

CNN is suing President Donald Trump and his aides for revoking its White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s hard pass.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., calls for the immediate restoration of Acosta’s White House access.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, his White House press credentials were suspended last week after he refused to give the microphone back to a White House intern during a press conference with Trump when Trump refused to answer any more of Acosta’s questions.

Sanders said at the time that the White House will “never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young women just trying to do her job as a White House intern.” She called his behavior “absolutely unacceptable” and disrespectful to other reporters he refused to allow to ask their questions.

It needs to be pointed out that the White House did not bar CNN–it simply barred a reporter who behaved very rudely.

For those of you with short memories, I would like to highlight a few incidents between the press and the White House during the Obama administration as reported by Breitbart in 2017:

Closing White House events to all but the official photographer. Obama barred the media from events — including, ironically, an award ceremony where he was recognized for “transparency” — and often restricted photographers’ access, only releasing images taken by the official White House photographer.

…Trying to shut out Fox News. The Obama administration targeted Fox News for isolation and marginalization, arguing that it was not a legitimate news organization but “the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.” That served as a warning to other potentially critical outlets.

…Stonewalling FOIA requests. The Obama administration “set a record” for failing to provide information requested by the press and the public under the Freedom of Information Act. The low point was Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, where tens of thousands of emails were hidden on a private server and deleted.

…Prosecuting journalists and their sources. The Obama administration pursued Fox News reporter James Rosen’s private emails — then misled Congress about it. CNN’s Jake Tapper — to his credit — pointed out that Obama had used the Espionage Act against leakers more than all of his predecessors combined.

…Wiretapping the Associated Press. After the Obama administration’s snooping on the AP was exposed in 2013, a senior NBC correspondent excused President Obama on the grounds that he would not have been nasty enough to alienate “one of the president’s most important constituencies, the press.”

There’s more–please follow the link to the article to read the complete list.

The press has treated President Trump horribly since he became the Republican candidate for President. It is no surprise that he removed one of the more obnoxious reporters from the Press Corps. Until Mr Acosta learns some degree of manners, I don’t believe his access should be reinstated. Again, Jim Acosta was barred–not CNN. The First Amendment was not limited–just the access of someone with bad manners.

Evaluating The Pictures You See On The News

Power Line posted a story today examining the role of journalists in reporting a story and the influence they have. Please follow the above link to the story to view the video included in the story (I’m sorry–I can’t figure out how to download the video!).

The video is by Italian photojournalist Ruben Salvadori covering the tension between Israel and the Arabs in the West Bank.

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