To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE

SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

CBS Firing of Journalist Catherine Herridge, and Seizing of Her Documents, Poses a Dangerous Threat to Freedom of the Press

Curtis Houck : Feb 23, 2024  MRC Newsbusters

"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." -Jonathan Turley, former CBS legal analyst

[] Writing Thursday morning for The Hill, Fox News contributor and George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley dropped a bombshell about this month's layoffs at CBS News; that the network seized the files of Catherine Herridge, who was sadly one of the correspondents let go and one of the only actual reporters in network news. (Screengrab image: CBS News)

Turley noted that, while it was shocking enough that she no longer had a job, the questions surrounding the choice to let her go (as part of wider layoffs at parent company Paramount Global) have exacerbated "after CBS officials took the unusual step of seizing her files, computers and records, including information on privileged sources."

He further alleged CBS "informed her that it would decide what, if anything, would be turned over to her", presumably including "confidential material from both her stints at Fox and CBS."

Our own Brent Bozell reacted in an X post to this crackdown on the free press:

Calling this "shocking," Turley explained "[j]ournalists are generally allowed to leave with their files" as per "the standard contract, including the one at CBS" so long as they can be made "available to the network" in the event of "future litigation."

"When sources accept confidentiality assurances, it is an understanding that rests with the reporter. It is a matter of trust that can take a long time to establish on a personal level between a reporter and a source," he continued with it especially being the case with Herridge given her beats on intelligence and law enforcement.

Thankfully, Turley said Herridge's former colleagues haven't scoffed at this move: "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."

He cited "[o]ne former CBS journalist" as having heard "many employees are confused why" she was caught up in the layoffs since she "broke news regularly and did a lot of original reporting."

How cute. To anyone with a pulse and able to spot liberal media bias, it's not at all surprising she got theaxegiven her decades of intrepid reporting that included staying on top of Biden family corruption twists and turns when it often felt like no one else at the "big three" of ABC, CBS, and NBC would.

"She continued to pursue these stories despite reports of pushback from CBS executives, including CBS News President Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews," he added.

Turley invoked another source who used to work at CBS to explain seizing her files (which would thus include stories she was working on at the time) wasn't commonplace:

A former CBS manager, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said that he had "never heard of anything like this." He attested to the fact that, in past departures, journalists took all of their files and office contents. Indeed, the company would box up everything from cups to post-its for departing reporters. He said the holding of the material was "outrageous" and clearly endangered confidential sources.


A source within the union, SAG-AFTRA, confirmed that it has raised this controversy with CBS and remains extremely concerned about the effect of this action on journalistic practices and source confidentiality. The union believes this is "very unusual" and goes far beyond this individual case. "It is a matter of principle," a union spokesperson added. "It is a matter of serious concern. We are considering all of our options."

Turley went on to lay out the implications of what seized files mean for the government's ongoing court case against Herridge as well as CBS, Herridge herself, and journalists writ large:

Reporters like Herridge have long served as the primary defenders of privileged sources. Indeed, Herridge is still in court defending confidentiality over a series of stories at Fox News in 2017, even at the risk of being held in contempt.

CBS is suggesting 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.

In criminal cases involving privileged information, the government has an elaborate "filter team" system to wall off access to information under review. In the court system, judges use in camera and ex parte reviews to protect such information. Ironically, the media itself seems to take a more ad hoc approach. Indeed, CBS seems to have adopted a "Trust us, we're the media" approach. However, that could expose these files to the access of unnamed lawyers, tech staff and others who are conducting this inventory and analysis.


The union may have no choice but to go to court to force CBS to protect journalistic values, including a demand for an injunction to force the company to secure these files and bar review until a court has had a chance to consider these questions of confidential and proprietary claims to the files. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE

Other Recent Articles from Breaking Christian News

Fox News Host Lawrence Jones Delivers Powerful Gospel Message: I'm 'Proud to Be a Believer'

California Mom Wants Child Castrated Without Father's Consent

Trans Higher Schooler Places Second in 200m Girls' Varsity Track in Oregon; Would Have Placed 61st among Male Athletes

Biden Admin Pressures Guatemala into Pulling Out of Pro-Life Declaration against 'Right' to Abortion

Prayer Paved the Way for Arizona's Pro-Life Win

Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments on Thursday That Could Overturn Convictions of Hundreds of J6 Protesters

'Hush Money' Criminal Case against Trump Is 'Bogus.' Legal Expert Explains Why

Surprise: John Fetterman Breaks With Biden's Approach to Iran Attacks

Israel's War Cabinet Weighs Counter-Strike for Iran Missile Attack as White House Pushes Diplomacy

American Evangelicals among 'the Last Ones Standing with Israel'

IDF Poised at Gaza Border, Braced for Iran Attack as US Warns Americans to Stay Near Israeli Cities

Exposing Corruption at FBI: Whistleblowers Share Their Stories

Senate Passes Resolution Nullifying Biden's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rule

Youngkin Vetoes 'Disastrous' Bill Expanding Ranked-Choice Voting In Virginia

President Trump Drops Bombshell Letter from Stormy Daniels…'I Am Denying This Affair Because It Never Happened'

'Absolutely Disastrous' for Biden: Voter Panel On 'Morning Joe' Skewers Bidenomics, Says They Long for Trump's Economy

Wall Street Journal Poll: Trump Has Nearly Doubled Support Among Black Men and Women Since 2020

Blue City Plans to Defund Its Police Force to Pay for Illegal Immigrants

Iowa Joins Texas: New Law Allows State to Deport Illegals

World War II Hero Who Left Hollywood to Fight for America: Incredible New Look at 'It's a Wonderful Life' Star Jimmy Stewart's Story

Search the Articles Archives

Words Posted On:  
Day Month Year

BCN Plus

Follow BCN on Twitter
Are You Praying for Our Government Leaders?
BCN Staff

Steve Shultz
Steve Shultz, Managing Editor
Founder and Owner

Aimee Herd
Aimee Herd, Editor

BCN Plus
Are You Praying for President Trump?

All articles on this site and emails from BCN are copyrighted property of Breaking Christian News. Permission is given to link to, or share a BCN story if proper attribution is given to both the original writer and summarizer of the story. Breaking Christian News 2005-2019. All Rights Reserved.

Breaking Christian News is a division of Elijah List Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: Articles and links, as well as the source articles linked to; do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breaking Christian News.