home

Time Magazine to Turn Over Matthew Cooper's Notes

Bump and Update: Time Magazine will turn over the notes of reporter Matthew Cooper sought by the Government in the Valerie Plame grand jury investigation. Cooper will avoid going to jail. No word yet on Judith Miller, who has said she'd go to jail rather than comply.

More details at Bloomberg News. The Wall Street Journal (free link) provides analysis.

Update: Atrios:

When it comes to defending the supposed principles they were fighting for, this seems like a rather bad outcome. The whole point was that to protect the freedom of the press you had to protect the identity of confidential sources. From this perspective Time taints their entire publication -- you can't rely on anyone working for that magazine to protect their sources because the publishers/editors will sell out all of their journalist's sources.

***********
Original Post: 6/29 7:00 pm

At a court hearing today for Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper, the judge told them to pack their toothbrushes:

Unless they comply with a court order and disclose who passed along CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to them, Matt Cooper and Judith Miller can expect to go to jail and Time magazine can expect a substantial daily fine after a final hearing next Wednesday, Judge Thomas Hogan ruled today.

....Hogan, who twice quoted Lewis Carroll in saying that "the time has come" to comply and that the media's arguments were "curiouser and curiouser," gave Miller and Cooper until the end of the day Friday to file any necessary documents related to their incarceration, including any medical considerations that should be taken into account. The government has until noon Tuesday to reply to those filings, and a final hearing will be held Wednesday afternoon.

TL background here.

Update: The Washington Post has more here, including that the reporters would only serve four months because the grand jury is up in October. Also,

Attorneys for Miller and Cooper... have said the investigation appears to have changed from a probe of whether officials identified a covert agent to whether they perjured themselves in testimony to prosecutors. The latter, they said, does not justify jailing reporters.

< Thursday Funnies: Democrats vs. Republicans | Accountability for Torture >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: Time Magazine to Turn Over Matthew Cooper's No (none / 0) (#1)
    by jimcee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:42 PM EST
    Perhaps these reporters need to have their houses bulldozed as well as having their freedom denied. Yeah, yeah, what the Supreme Court needs is a more Leftist interpretation of the Constitution. C'mon you Lefties defend the Kelo and the journalist's privilege decisions as being a Conservative court decision. The Supreme Court's recent decisions are proof positive that there can be no such thing as packing the court in either direction. Bad ideas driven by a combination politics and a permanent "tenured" position equals bad law. If it wasn't obvious before it has been well demonstrated in the last two weeks. To those that notice.

    Now, Blaghdaddy will probably come under considerable fire for his view on this topic, but he wishes these reporters and good time and good luck in the pokey. There are only three rights to privileged conversation that Blaghdaddy knows of. 1. The sanctity of the Catholic confessional, 2. Legal discussion between a client and his attorney and 3. The spousal protection against testifying against one's mate (which may also extend to parents and children, but Blagh isn't sure on this point). If there is any other legally-protected privilege that exists, could someone kindly let Blaghdaddy know? As far as journalistic privilege, there is a First Amendment Right against being sued to reveal a source in matters unrelated to a criminal proceeding, correct? Or something like it recognized by the courts? But is there any law that protects a journalist from the consequences of with-holding a material matter from the courts in a criminal investigation? If a leaker broke the law in leaking, there is no duty owed to that scaff-law by any journalist from any legal knowledge Blagh possesses... If anything, people who illegally pass information to journalists should be made aware that there will be no protection afforded them. Remember Deepthroat? If he broke any law and was prosecuted, could he not have pleaded the good he accomplished as an extenuating circumstance? But would it have been unjust to try him for breaking a law? Blagh thinks not. If someone breaks a law in claiming to do good, they cannot claim the accomplished and alleged good or the good intention as an "Automatic Get-Out-of-Jail Card." If it's relevant, bring it up at sentencing, by all means, and most just societies will take it into account, but in the recent debacle of the "Runaway Bride" conclusion, Blaghdaddy was proven right in stating that charging her was not unjust. Those who howled the loudest when she sold her story were the loudest howlers when she was charged... "Why charge her at all?" they whined. Now you know why...because if she's to get a break, make sure she gets it from the courts, and so no one can cry when she turns out to be a rat. If you had let her off Scot-free, she'd have been in danger of being lynched...that's what happens when you play judge and excuse peoples' breaking the law... So they give up the goods or go down the river...simple as that. And that rat Novak should be sitting with them. As the publisher of the offending information, why the hell is he still drooling on CNN and not in the hoose-gow for not singing? That's the only mystery here...

    Blagh's here every day, Dark-One, whether he comments or not...he's lurking in the weeds like a (scream of terror) shark...call FoxSpews...

    Re: Time Magazine to Turn Over Matthew Cooper's No (none / 0) (#5)
    by Kitt on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:43 PM EST
    Re: Time Magazine to Turn Over Matthew Cooper's No (none / 0) (#6)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:43 PM EST
    Blagh writes:
    Remember Deepthroat? If he broke any law and was prosecuted, could he not have pleaded the good he accomplished as an extenuating circumstance? But would it have been unjust to try him for breaking a law?
    Bad example. This man was the number 2 guy at the FBI. He could have went to his boss, he could have went to the AG and he could have called a press conference. The AG would have tried to shut him down. I'm not sure about what his boss would have done, but the press would have exploded in a firestorm. Result: Nixon out. Instead he dragged it out for months, serving no end except his desire to not have to admit he was the one blowing the whistle on Nixon. So what he wanted was his cake, and to eat it too. This case is the same. It is serious. The press should tell law enforcement what they know and let the chips fall where they may.

    Guys, nearly every state now has a shield law which DOES privilege conversation between journalist and source. Obviously this does not hold at the federal level, but it's not like there is no legal precedent in this country for it. Furthermore, many of us would interpret the first amendment to allow this protection. If you really understand how journalism works, it's hard to imagine how the press could actually operate freely--as guaranteed in that amendment--in many cases without it. This need is especially strong in some of the most important cases, where very powerful people in say, the government, or, say, organized crime, or even a powerful corporation are doing something very harmful to the country. The framers had felt the power of a king and understood this. They wanted a strong, free press as a vehicle to get the truth out in these matters. When you've got powerful forces that sources are terrified of, they're only going to speak, if they absolutely believe their identity will never be revealed.

    I am stunned and sickened by Time's decision. Where is their backbone? This is not just horrible for Time, this is horrible for the entire field. This sends a signal to every potential source out there, that reporters cannot be trusted when they assure you of confidentiality. As a reporter, I have given my word, and I have kept sources secret for years. And some of them have gotten very nervous. I once came under heavy fire, and the idiotic Jeffco Sheriff publicly accused me of being a liar over Columbine, and tried to undermine my credibility. It really rocked my world, and I could have immediately cleared my name by revealing my source. Imagine how he/she felt about that. Worried, I can assure you. Imagine if I were threatened with jail time? At this point--six years later, he/she trusts that I would still go to jail over it. But then what if the magazine publishing me took it out of my hands and turned the person in anyway? My notes were recently subpoenead by the Air Force, and they threatened me with six months in federal prison. I didn't even have anything they wanted, but I had talked off-the-record with a few people who might be distressed to have their comments public. It probably wasn't a huge deal for them, but that's not the point. I would have had to go to jail to assure them and every other source out there that I would hold to my word. Not just my sources, EVERY journo's sources. We, as a field, have to hold a united front, or we lose the integrity ALL the whistleblowers out there place in us. This is just horrible.

    PPJ, I think it's been a long while since you thumbed through your old copy of "All the President's Men." Deep Throat didn't give the WaPo any information. He scrupulously limited his role to confirming whether the reporters were on the right track and pointing them toward helpful sources. His reticence in offering information was a source of frustration for the reporters, and they said as much in their book.

    Re: Time Magazine to Turn Over Matthew Cooper's No (none / 0) (#10)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:44 PM EST
    So deepthroat should have gone to his boss? You mean the boss that was involved and resigned because he participated in the coverup:"... acting director of the FBI, L. Patrick Gray, received and destroyed documents from Ehrlichman, who was a top aide to the president, and from White House council John Dean III. "

    Re: Time Magazine to Turn Over Matthew Cooper's No (none / 0) (#12)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:45 PM EST
    QIB - Parse all you want, he was giving information, albeit in an obtuse manner. But the fact remains. This man was a member of law enforcement, he had the goods, yet he didn't want to step up. That's nonsense. Now, if he didn't have the facts, and used the reporters to illegally obtain them... What is the difference between him and Nixon? Dave C - The problem is, some reporters aren't honest and make things up. See the WP reporter who had to give back the Pulitzer, Jason (??) at the NYT, a recent case in Detroit, etc. And worse, the practice allows politicians and their sycophants to play all sorts of dirty little games. I mean, if we can believe what we hear, the Plame affair is because someone in the administration wanted to pay back Joe Wilson for his comments re yellowcake. Perhaps the press should adopt some type of code of ethics that says sources that are verified by the reporter's editor, and one other source, will be protected. Sailor - No, I mean he should have done what I posted.
    He could have went to his boss, he could have went to the AG and he could have called a press conference. The AG would have tried to shut him down. I'm not sure about what his boss would have done, but the press would have exploded in a firestorm. Result: Nixon out.
    Question: Your comment is so obviously out of context, I am amazed. You look like like a rank amateur. We expect better of you.

    Why are people here framing this as liberal/conservative? A free press is crucial to ALL ideological sides. And it's also not about Judith Miller. I hate much of her work, too. But this is mnot about her. This is much larger than her. I understand that "journalists" have tainted the profession and given us a horrible reputation. But be careful about letting a crucial institution be enfeebled. You need a strong press. We all do. Desperately. Time Magazine is a disgrace to the profession. Norm Pearlstine should be fired immediately.

    Re: Time Magazine to Turn Over Matthew Cooper's No (none / 0) (#14)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:45 PM EST
    Dave C writes:
    I understand that "journalists" have tainted the profession and given us a horrible reputation. But be careful about letting a crucial institution be enfeebled. You need a strong press. We all do. Desperately.
    I agree. Now it is time for the press to fix their own problems. If they don't, the problems will be fixed for them.

    OK, I can't update my blog at the moment, and I've written too much to post here, so I created a diary at Kos, about why this is such a dark day for us in the journalism profession, and why that traitor Pearlstine should resign in disgrace or be fired.

    Posted by Dave Cullen: "This is much larger than her." Clearly; what isn't? But this is the sort of thing that gets the corporate media's personal attention -- that and BOYCOTT. Since there isn't a lot of media cowardice and complicity left to worry about, the unfairness of this, yet another, scapegoating is welcome. People trying to hold the line are noble, but removing Bush from power by whatever means is more practical than trying to keep all your chickens safe in a nuclear explosion.