Freedom of the Press

CBS faces uproar after seizing investigative journalist’s files | The Hill

“Anyone who isn’t confused really doesn’t understand the situation.” Those words, from CBS icon Edward R. Murrow, came to mind this week after I spoke with journalists at the network.

There is trouble brewing at Black Rock, the headquarters of CBS, after the firing of Catherine Herridge, an acclaimed investigative reporter. Many of us were shocked after Herridge was included in layoffs this month, but those concerns have increased after CBS officials took the unusual step of seizing her files, computers and records, including information on privileged sources.

The position of CBS has alarmed many, including the union, as an attack on free press principles by one of the nation’s most esteemed press organizations.

I have spoken confidentially with current and former CBS employees who have stated that they could not recall the company ever taking such a step before. One former CBS journalist said that many employees “are confused why [Herridge] was laid off, as one of the correspondents who broke news regularly and did a lot of original reporting.”

BREAKING: In a unanimous ruling, SCOTUS rules that members of the public can sue public officials for blocking or muting them on social media.

The court establishes a new test for lower courts to determine if a public official’s speech is a “state action”; writing they must “possess the authority to speak for the state” and “purport to exercise that authority.”