“The legal victory secured by Fox News reporter Jana Winter this week could mark an important milestone in the fight for a national law that protects journalists’ First Amendment rights.”
Someone has this all wrong. It is the other way round. The Constitution protects our rights from abuse by law.
The judge apparently wishes to punish somebody.
Winter faced jail time in Colorado for refusing to name a confidential source in her reporting of the July 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting. After the incident, Winter reported that the accused killer, James Holmes, had sent a notebook containing disturbing images to his psychiatrist.
Winter’s news report appeared after a judge in Colorado imposed a gag order on the case. In January 2013, the court in Arapahoe County, Colo., where Holmes is being tried, concluded there was substantial evidence that unnamed law enforcement officials in Winter’s story had violated the gag order by giving her information.
Yeah. So what? There was no untruth.
Two things burn my butt more every day.First, if you withhold information from investigators you are charged with a crime. Second, if you tell someone other than the authorities what you know, you are charged with a crime. How is that not judicial tyranny?
People who wield the law like a weapon and threaten citizens should be chastised publicly. The reporter is not the problem. The informer is not the problem. The problem is people who wish to control the truth in order to conceal it from others. They are the problem.
When the truth becomes secondary to the judicial process, the guilty go free and the victim has no justice. And when injustice becomes predominant, people will take the law into their hands.
But in all of this, I really expected that the Constitutional Daily would not support a law that will limit the definition of a journalist. That type of law will be used to control everyone who knows the truth and it will penalize those who share the truth with others.
While a law may describe and even enshrine a principle of the Constitution that has not been honored in practice, the Constitution is national law already.
Another law about the freedom of the press is unnecessary. The courts have ruled over and over again the Constitutional right to distribute the truth in any media by any person who reports it. That is what happened here.