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Old 2004-11-20, 03:58   Link #21
LynnieS
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanjuronord
No he's 100% innocent because he didn't break any laws. His "crime" was not abiding a court order that violated his rights. It should be seen no different than a court order for someone to be a witness against himself (Amendment 5).
I'm not arguing that the chap broke any laws. The article was clear that he did not. He's in trouble for being in contempt of the court, which is, in all fairness, a very nebulous argument. He reported something that wasn't supposed to have been made available to anyone outside a select group of people.

That information arrived either by someone giving it to the reporter deliberately, someone accidentally letting the video slip out, or the reporter did something illegal himself and stole the information.

The video did not walk out of an office, took a bus to the reporter's building, and place itself on his desk.

The judge wanted to know (1) who violated his order and (2) was it a deliberate action.

The judge's job is, IMHO, to ensure that people have a fair (speed isn't necessarily an issue... unless you're a juror) trial.

The reporter's job is to report the news in a fair and unbiased manner. He is not supposed to serve as someone's patsy to transmit information that will have come out eventually anyway. If it doesn't at the end, fine, let him air it then. This isn't a whistleblower we are talking about here trying to raise awareness of some wrongdoing somewhere. How does society benefit from his action at that time? Is there harm involved? Well, if the people weren't aware of themselves being under investigation then, they certainly were aware of it afterwards!

This is not a situation where he can get in trouble through self-incrimination. Unless he actually did steal the video.

Quote:
Do the laws not also apply to the courts and the judges? "Who watches the watchmen?"
Higher courts on up to the Supreme Court justices. Anything they do that the government doesn't like, the government can amend or create new laws. Anything the people don't like, they can vote their government reps out of office come election time.

If the courts can't be sure that their directives will be obeyed, the system breaks down, and you can't, IMHO, be sure that justice will be served. It's not like the directives are commandments from the god of your choice, but you don't go around them by ignoring them outright and finding an accomplice to do your dirty work for you.

Quote:
Don't understand where you're getting that. The 6th Amendment puts the responsibility of a fair trial on the government not on the media... If he didn't get a fair trial it's the government's (not the media's) fault. Doesn't matter how difficult or costly it might be to ensure it. After all they have to provide attorneys for those who can't afford them. Violating someone's rights to make your job easier is hardly a good defense.


Exactly! I couldn't say it better myself. To put it another way, you can argue that spreading the news at that time helped to violate the two (mayor and assistant)'s right to a fair trial. I also don't see how the reporter's rights are violated, to be honest. He's not being asked to incriminate himself, and the American jail system is, compared to some others, something of a joke. If it makes him feel better, push the responsibility onto the editor or some helpful sprite that overheard the person's name who gave the video out.

Society's rules are, IMHO, there to protect everyone. Theoretically. If someone oversteps those boounds, you have cops going after you. If the cops step out, you have the courts, and so on.

No one's rights are absolute and exist in a vacuum; by joining a society and promising to obey its rules, some of your rights have been subsumed. I have, for example, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I do not have the right to infringe on your right to the same by, for example, breaking into your house, stealing your anime collection, and even accidentally, hurting you in the process.

Oi. Wrote too much again. Eh. Just let the system work itself out. It typically does - even if it sometimes act like a drunken sailor after 6 months at sea.
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Old 2004-11-20, 16:01   Link #22
Sanjuronord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnieS
I'm not arguing that the chap broke any laws. The article was clear that he did not. He's in trouble for being in contempt of the court, which is, in all fairness, a very nebulous argument. He reported something that wasn't supposed to have been made available to anyone outside a select group of people.
He's in contempt for a court order that violated his rights as a journalist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnieS
This is not a situation where he can get in trouble through self-incrimination. Unless he actually did steal the video.
Didn't say it was, just trying to show a similar example of a court issueing an order that flies in the face of a person's rights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnieS
If the courts can't be sure that their directives will be obeyed, the system breaks down, and you can't, IMHO, be sure that justice will be served. It's not like the directives are commandments from the god of your choice, but you don't go around them by ignoring them outright and finding an accomplice to do your dirty work for you.
If the courts make rulings in direct contradiction to previous court rulings than what are we to think? "Not exactly laws....more what you'd call guidelines really..." Laws and court decisions need to be consistent to be followed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnieS
Exactly! I couldn't say it better myself. To put it another way, you can argue that spreading the news at that time helped to violate the two (mayor and assistant)'s right to a fair trial. I also don't see how the reporter's rights are violated, to be honest.
No he did not, he is under no obligation to assist in any investigation or attempt to give those two people a fair trial. Government responsibility. Period. The Bill of Rights exist to protect people from Oppressive Government not investigative journalism. Here is how the law should look at this: The story was done legally. In cshould be looked at the same as any legal story the news has run. As such, the reporter's sources should receive the same degree of protection as any other.

Since the story was done legally, any rulings they make on this case will apply to any other stories done legally by the media. This creates a precedent that the courts can now issue court orders to any reporters that release a story that the government doesn't want to get out, regardless of reason. Completely flies in the face of past rulings and the legality of prior restraint.
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Old 2004-11-21, 01:42   Link #23
AnimeOni
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Journalistic Freedom is not an absolute right. Journalists have Editors who censor the materials. Journalist cannot take things out of context and make it true without libel. Judges are looking closer after all the scandles which hit the airwaves and print with a multitude of plagerism (search Jason Blair).

Now back to the issue. The reason why judges are looking to locking reporters up is due to the recent case of Matthew Couper. Think Valerie Plame, undercover CIA agent who's cover was blown - political leak? No judge in their right mindswant the press to release critical information that will cause harm to others.

Let's take a look at the 1st Amendment and how it's used. It was designed to protect individual expression. The courts have often protected the right of the press to the extent where nobody is hurt or the public interest is not hurt. In the case of Plame, she became a hit-target - basically a price on her head. If the court did not pursue this, would Couper release additional undercover agent info? How many undercover agents would die? How many would quit? How can we protect national interest if we cannot gain info into our "enemies."

Why journalists want exclusiveness of the law? To ensure future stories. They want the insider information, the exclusives. If they report their sources, they would be cut out of a story and a potential leak - say someone was going to overthrow the government. Basically, people would think the press is an arm of the oppresive government.

Basically, the courts have basically say, self censor. Use the information wisely and correctly. If they use it wrong, they may be violating my right, your right, and the people's rights - Right to Privacy and Right to a Fair Trial. Which do you value more?
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Old 2004-11-21, 02:33   Link #24
hooliganj
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There's a big difference - the reporter in the Plume case was actively endangering someone's life by running with the story, which is a seperate issue. But that guy also didn't give up his source, and nobody in charged pursued it since it all worked to certain peoples' advantage. Maybe that's an overly cynical view of how that went down, but more than anything I would hate to see that case used to reverse all the progress made with the rights of the free press since the Nixon era.
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Old 2004-11-21, 03:28   Link #25
Kamui4356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooliganj
There's a big difference - the reporter in the Plume case was actively endangering someone's life by running with the story, which is a seperate issue. But that guy also didn't give up his source, and nobody in charged pursued it since it all worked to certain peoples' advantage. Maybe that's an overly cynical view of how that went down, but more than anything I would hate to see that case used to reverse all the progress made with the rights of the free press since the Nixon era.
Don't worry about that. This isn't the first time a reporter has gone to jail for refusing to reveal his source, and it won't be the last. There's really no danger to freedom of the press in this. When a reporter goes to jail for publishing a story, you should worry.
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Old 2004-11-21, 16:14   Link #26
AnimeOni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamui4356
Don't worry about that. This isn't the first time a reporter has gone to jail for refusing to reveal his source, and it won't be the last. There's really no danger to freedom of the press in this. When a reporter goes to jail for publishing a story, you should worry.
So true. When we start locking up reporters for doing thier jobs, then we have a loss of the press and freedom. There is a unspoken balance between the government and the press and some people step over it and some people don't. There will always be news to report.

I don't think the government will crack down on the press. They use it often too. They release stories, they release false information, and use the press to their advantage when it suits them. By not cracking down, the government can use the press to their own ends and make it seem legitimate.
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