INTERVIEW: Judith Miller on Court Threatening to Jail Fox News Reporter for Refusing to Reveal Source of James Holmes' Notebook
Fox News reporter Jana Winter is facing the prospect of jail time for refusing to divulge her sources for a FoxNews.com report last summer that revealed the contents of a notebook allegedly kept by James Holmes. The notebook, which he sent to his psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, is said to contain details about how Holmes intended to kill people. He was arrested last July for the mass shooting inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in which 12 people died.
Now, defense attorneys
in his trial are trying to convince a court to force Winter to reveal how she obtained the notebook. Winter argues she is protected by the Colorado Shield Law, which allows a journalist to keep a source confidential on a matter of material public interest.
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"If courts can force reporters to reveal confidential sources, then who will talk to reporters in the future, and how will inconvenient truths about the government become known?" he asked.
On Happening Now today, Jon Scott sat down with former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who spent 85 days in jail in 2005 for refusing to reveal a confidential source that provided information on outed CIA officer Valerie Plame.
"So far the prosecutor's been investigating 14 different law enforcement people, searching for Jana's source. And because they haven't been able to find who it was that leaked her this information, supposedly against the judge's gag ruling, they've gone after her. They're saying 'you have to tell us who your source was or you're going to go to jail.' I believe strongly, even if I hadn't been to jail myself (that) this is a choice no journalist should be asked to make," said Miller.
They also went on to discuss a key point of the Colorado Shield Law that will play heavily into the case. Journalists' sources are not protected if it can be proven in court that the interest of the party seeking the identity of the source outweighs the public's right to know the reported information.
Watch the full discussion:
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