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CBS Seizes Fired Investigative Reporter’s Files, as Free Speech Defenders Raise Alarm

Constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley and the SAG-AFTRA labor union which represents news broadcast journalists and news writers and editors (among others) raised a hue and cry on Feb. 22 after CBS not only laid off its lead investigative reporter, Catherine Herridge, but seized her files, computers and records, including information on her privileged sources. Writing in The Hill, Turley called the seizure “shocking,” warning that CBS’s action suggests “that it will allow unnamed individuals to rifle through Herridge’s files to determine what will remain with the network and what will be returned to the reporter. That could fundamentally alter how reporters operate and how willing sources are to trust assurances that they will be protected.”

Praising Herridge, who formerly worked at Fox News, as “an old-school investigative journalist,” Turley pointed to suspicions about where the decision may have come from:

“The timing of Herridge’s termination immediately raised suspicions in Washington. She was pursuing stories that were unwelcomed by the Biden White House and many Democratic powerhouses, including the Hur report on Joe Biden’s diminished mental capacity, the Biden corruption scandal and the Hunter Biden laptop. She continued to pursue these stories despite reports of pushback from CBS executives, including CBS News President Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews.”

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