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***Official*** Free Speech Thread

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On 2/10/2019 at 11:26 AM, Rove! said:

Both you and I know it’s much more complex than “hey billy bob, get out of my establishment.”  We know that groups like the SPLC have close and deep ties to people in the government and political operatives.  We know that the banking industry has close and very deep ties to the government and political operatives.  What we have is an organized attempt by a group of powerful people aimed at controlling speech.  

Actually, it's pretty simple and you decided to make it complex.

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On 2/10/2019 at 8:18 AM, Rove! said:

Your type must have loved the Hollywood blacklists for “Communists”

 

Your type?

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Rania Khalek @RaniaKhalek

Facebook has suspended all of @IntheNow_tweet's facebook pages, apparently in coordination w/ CNN, on the grounds that In The Now doesn't disclose who funds it (Ruptly). This is an outrageous standard that is not applied to other outlets, like NPR or AJ+.

This is after weeks of CNN digging around to find dirt on us. We then reached out to CNN and let them interview us, which felt more like a police interrogation. The interviewer didn’t like my anti war political views, even attacked my criticism of Trump’s coup in Venezuela.

CNN says it was alerted to @IntheNow_tweet by The German Marshall Fund, which receives funding from the US government. So here you have a US government funded outfit prompting CNN to help get us kicked off Facebook.

This is a case where the US government has found a legal loophole to suppress speech, in this case speech that is critical of destructive US government policies around the world. Even if you hate what I say in my videos, you should be outraged by this speech suppression.

CNN should be ashamed for helping the US government suppress speech they don’t like. They claim to be for a free and open media, but their behavior in coordinating with Facebook to shut down @IntheNow_tweet shows what bs that is. CNN isn’t state media, but it sure acts like it.

One more thing: Facebook suspended us on the grounds we don’t disclose we receive funding from Ruptly, who’s parent company is RT . But this standard is not applied to NPR, AJ+ or TRT. It’s discrimination, part of a McCarthyist witch-hunt.

On a side note, CNN kept asking if I have editorial control at @IntheNow_tweet (I do). The interviewer didn’t believe me. So I asked where Marc Lamont Hill’s editorial freedom was when CNN fired him 4 telling the truth about Israeli occupation of Palestine. Response was crickets

 

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Justice Clarence Thomas Calls for Reconsideration of Landmark Libel Ruling

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WASHINGTON — Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday called for the Supreme Court to reconsider New York Times v. Sullivan, the landmark 1964 ruling interpreting the First Amendment to make it hard for public officials to prevail in libel suits.

He said the decision had no basis in the Constitution as it was understood by the people who drafted and ratified it.

“New York Times and the court’s decisions extending it were policy-driven decisions masquerading as constitutional law,” Justice Thomas wrote.

Justice Thomas, writing only for himself, made his statement in a concurring opinion agreeing that the court had correctly turned down an appeal from Kathrine McKee, who has accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. She sued Mr. Cosby for libel after his lawyer said she had been dishonest.

An appeals court ruled against Ms. McKee, saying that her activities had made her a public figure and that she could not prove, as required by the Sullivan decision, that the lawyer had knowingly or recklessly said something false. Ms. McKee asked the Supreme Court to review the appeals court’s determination that she was a public figure.

Justice Thomas wrote that he agreed with the court’s decision not to take up that question. “I write to explain why, in an appropriate case, we should reconsider the precedents that require courts to ask it in the first place,” he wrote.

In Justice Thomas’s view, the First Amendment did nothing to limit the authority of states to protect the reputations of their citizens and leaders as they saw fit. When the First Amendment was ratified, he wrote, many states made it quite easy to sue for libel in civil actions and to prosecute libel as a crime. That was, he wrote, as it should be.

“We did not begin meddling in this area until 1964, nearly 175 years after the First Amendment was ratified,” Justice Thomas wrote of the Sullivan decision. “The states are perfectly capable of striking an acceptable balance between encouraging robust public discourse and providing a meaningful remedy for reputational harm.”

The events leading to the Sullivan decision test that assertion. The case arose from an advertisement in The Times seeking support for the civil rights movement. The ad contained minor errors.

L.B. Sullivan, a city commissioner in Montgomery, Ala., who was not mentioned in the ad, sued for libel. He won $500,000, which was at the time an enormous sum. It was one of many suits filed by Southern politicians eager to starve the civil rights movement of the oxygen of national attention. They used libel suits as a way to discourage coverage of the movement by national news organizations.

Against this background, and animated by an urge to protect the American public’s ability to assess the situation in the South for itself, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled for The Times and revolutionized American libel law.

Justice Thomas’s statement came in the wake of complaints from President Trump that libel laws make it too hard for public officials to win libel suits.

“I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Mr. Trump said on the campaign trail. “We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.”

Thanks to the Sullivan decision, it is indeed hard for public figures to win libel suits. They have to prove that something false was said about them, that it harmed their reputation and that the writer acted with “actual malice.” That last term is misleading, as it has nothing to do with the ordinary meaning of malice in the sense of spite or ill will.

To prove actual malice under the Sullivan decision, a libel plaintiff must show that the writer knew the disputed statement was false or had acted with “reckless disregard.” That second phrase is also a term of art. The Supreme Court has said that it requires proof that the writer entertained serious doubts about the truth of the statement.

Justice Thomas questioned those standards.

“There appears to be little historical evidence suggesting that the New York Times actual-malice rule flows from the original understanding of the First or Fourteenth Amendment,” he wrote.

Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016, routinely made the same point in his speeches. But Mr. Trump’s two Supreme Court appointees — Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh — have expressed support for broad libel protections in their opinions as appeals court judges.

At his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in March 2017, Justice Gorsuch was asked about the Sullivan decision by Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota. She wanted to know whether “the First Amendment would permit public officials to sue the media under any standard less demanding than actual malice.”

Judge Gorsuch, reticent when asked about other precedents, seemed comfortable with preserving that one.

“New York Times v. Sullivan was, as you say, a landmark decision and it changed pretty dramatically the law of defamation and libel in this country,” he said. “Rather than the common law of defamation and libel, applicable normally for a long time, the Supreme Court said the First Amendment has special meaning and protection when we’re talking about the media, the press in covering public officials, public actions and indicated that a higher standard of proof was required in any defamation or libel claim. Proof of actual malice is required to state a claim.”

“That’s been the law of the land for, gosh, 50, 60 years,” he said.

As an appeals court judge, Justice Gorsuch showed no hesitation in applying the line of cases that began with the Sullivan ruling.

Some plaintiffs, he wrote in a 2011 opinion, have reputations so poor that even serious accusations cannot damage them. Libel law, he said, is “about protecting a good reputation honestly earned.”

He added that minor inaccuracies in a news report can never serve as the basis for a libel suit, calling that “a First Amendment imperative.”

In 2015, Justice Kavanaugh, as an appeals court judge, wrote that posing provocative questions generally cannot be the basis for libel suits, choosing an interesting example.

“Of course,” Judge Kavanaugh wrote, “some commentators and journalists use questions — such as the classic “Is the president a crook?” — as tools to raise doubts (sometimes unfairly) about a person’s activities or character while simultaneously avoiding defamation liability.”

 

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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4 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

His mom and his cow are both kind of funny, except that the cow account might be fake.

Well if that cow is real it has some explaining to do. 

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The real costs of Devin Nunes’s defamation lawsuit

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CONGRESSMAN DEVIN NUNES’S LATEST LAWSUITagainst people he thinks are making him look bad—this one, filed April 8, seeks $150 million in damages from The McClatchy Company and anti-Trump Republican strategist Liz Mair—appears unlikely to succeed and, in the eyes of media-law experts, is virtually free of merit. That makes it a lot like the California Republican’s first such suit, a $250 million defamation claim filed last month against Mair, Twitter, and parody Twitter accounts claiming to be “Devin Nunes’s Mom” and “Devin Nunes’s Cow.”

Just because the new lawsuit might be laughed out of court doesn’t make it a laughing matter for McClatchy or Nunes’s other targets. Fighting a defamation suit, however baseless, against a prominent, deep-pocketed plaintiff like a congressman can burn up plenty of time, attention, and money.

And that might be the point.

“It seems to me to be stunt litigation,” Ken White, a former federal prosecutor who’s now a criminal defense and First Amendment lawyer in Los Angeles, says. “Increasingly, people seem to sue people for the publicity over the litigation, and the legal outcomes are secondary to the outcome of thrilling your base and whipping them up with the fact that you’re taking on the enemy.”

Nunes’s enemies in this case include the Fresno Bee, a McClatchy-owned paper that covers his district in California’s Central Valley. Last year, the Bee published a story about a San Francisco Bay cruise in 2015 on the SS Alpha Omega, a yacht owned by a nonprofit affiliate of Alpha Omega Winery, of which Nunes is a part owner.

According to a lawsuit filed by a winery employee who was on the cruise, the 25 men on board drank to excess, snorted cocaine openly, and paid to have sex with women, some of whom appeared to be underage. The winery settled the suit out of court. Nunes was not on the yacht or named in the lawsuit.

The Bee’s story about the cruise is the nexus of Nunes’s lawsuit. The suit claims the story was part of “McClatchy’s scheme to defame Nunes and injure his reputation,” by “implying that he was involved with cocaine and underage prostitutes.”

Nunes cites what he claims are factual errors and “stealth edits” made after the story’s initial publication. Nunes also claims McClatchy and reporter Mackenzie Mays conspired with Mair to defame him, because Mair was quoted in McClatchy articles and tweeted links to McClatchy articles, and because Mays had liked or retweeted Mair’s tweets about Nunes.

In a statement issued April 9, the Fresno Bee and McClatchy stood by their reporting and called the lawsuit “a baseless attack on local journalism and a free press.” Nunes declined to be interviewed for the Bee’s article and has never asked for a correction in the 10 months since it was published, the company said.

Nunes’s congressional office did not respond to requests for comment, nor did his attorney in the defamation cases, Steven Biss of Charlottesville, Virginia.

The bar that Nunes and Biss must meet to prove defamation is very high. The Bee’s statements must be provably false and cause actual harm to Nunes’s reputation, but that by itself isn’t enough. Because Nunes is a public figure, he must show the Beeacted with “actual malice”—that the editors and reporters knew the information they published was false or acted with “reckless disregard” for whether it was true.

On top of that, Nunes must show the story is false when taken in context and in its entirety. “If the gist of something is true, it doesn’t matter if a couple of non-material details are wrong,” White says. “This story puts out there that he’s involved in this company; that’s undisputed. This company has this yacht; this yacht got used for these purposes. There’s no suggestion that he was there.” White, who co-hosts the NPR show “All The President’s Lawyers,” described Nunes’ Twitter lawsuit as “unusually buffoonish” on a previous episode, and called the McClatchy lawsuit “even worse.”

Apart from factual and legal deficiencies and prose that White says “reads more like a YouTube comment than a professional document,” there are problems with Nunes’s choice of venue. The case was filed in Albemarle County, Virginia. Mair is based in Virginia, but McClatchy doesn’t own any papers there. It would make more sense, White says, to hear the case in California, where McClatchy and the Fresno Bee are headquartered, where Nunes’s district is located, and where the debauched yacht party took place.

The lawsuit states Virginia is an appropriate venue because McClatchy is an investor in Moonlighting, a tech startup based in Charlottesville, and because “McClatchy publishes hundreds of stories a year on matters of unique concern to Virginians.”

White suspects the real reason Nunes and his lawyer chose Virginia is because it does not have an anti-SLAPP law as strong as California’s. (SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.) Under his home state’s anti-SLAPP law, Nunes would be at greater risk of being made to pay McClatchy’s and Mair’s legal fees if his suit is dismissed.

The cost of defending a media company against such a lawsuit could easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, Michael Overing, an adjunct professor of media law at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, says.

“The fact that Trump’s attorneys were awarded nearly $300,000 against Stormy Daniels tells you minimally what both sides could expect to pay,” Overing writes in an email to CJR, referring to the attorney’s fees Daniels was ordered to pay when her defamation lawsuit against Trump was dismissed last year. Cases with less publicity are cheaper, but when a president or congressman is involved, the stakes are higher and the billable hours tend to creep up.

However, media companies are insured against libel and defamation lawsuits, so McClatchy almost certainly won’t get a six-figure legal bill. (McClatchy, which provided CJR with a copy of their April 9 statement concerning the lawsuit, did not respond to a follow-up.) And the Nunes suit is unlikely to succeed; Overing sees a relatively straight path to a dismissal. The real cost to McClatchy would be the nuisance of defending itself and “having to respond publicly to dumb stuff,” Overing says.

This lawsuit might go away, but the idea of tying a news organization up in litigation when you don’t like its reporting doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. Even though the law is typically on their side, journalists and publishers are spending more time responding publicly to dumb stuff.

“It’s just the sheer weight of these things happening all the time,” White says. “It has an effect on people’s willingness to speak and to write.”

 

 

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This one is making the rounds. Police attempt to batter down journalist's door to obtain leak/source for prior reportage about Public Defender's death in San Francisco. Good story inside.

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sf-reporter-police-raid-adachi-20190511-story.html

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49 minutes ago, rockaction said:

This one is making the rounds. Police attempt to batter down journalist's door to obtain leak/source for prior reportage about Public Defender's death in San Francisco. Good story inside.

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sf-reporter-police-raid-adachi-20190511-story.html

So much effort wasted on the campus and social media controversies, this is the heart and soul of American free speech.

When a reporter would not betray his source, police came to his home with guns and a sledgehammer

The banging jolted Bryan Carmody awake. Outside his San Francisco home Friday morning, the longtime journalist saw a throng of police officers with a sledgehammer, trying to break down his front gate.

Carmody told the eight to 10 officers he would only let them in with a search warrant. Police confirmed a judge signed off on their barging into his home. Then the officers drew their guns and scoured his residence. When police left, they carted away his notebooks, computers, cameras, phones and even his fiancee’s iPod from her college days.

“I knew what they wanted,” Carmody told The Times. “They wanted the name.”

A few weeks before, he said two San Francisco police officers — a sergeant and a lieutenant — knocked on his door and “cordially” asked him to identify the source who shared a confidential police report into the Feb. 22 death of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

“Of course, I politely declined,” Carmody said of the visit from police last month. He had the same response Friday.

After police came into his home, officers handcuffed him for six hours as they collected his equipment. A receipt certifying his release from custody confirms he was handcuffed from 8:22 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. The search warrant for his home said officers were investigating “stolen or embezzled” property.

It was unclear whether he was handcuffed because of the guns he says he legally owns. Carmody said the guns were locked in a safe, and he said that over the hours-long search, it was evident officers didn’t view him as a threat. At one point, some police took off their bulletproof vests on account of the heat, he said.

While he was shackled, officers got a second warrant to search his newsroom, where police seized a thumb drive, CDs and, inside a safe, the sought-after police report about Adachi’s death.

Carmody, 49, said he has not shared the name of his source with anyone, and no markings on the document could be traced to the person who provided it.

Fellow journalists in the Bay Area and beyond were outraged by the search of Carmody’s home and office. And the incident provided a new wrinkle into the evolving aftermath of the unexpected death of Adachi, who left behind a legacy of championing civil rights.

Initial reports said the 59-year-old public defender had been traveling when he suddenly had a heart attack.

Carmody remembers his goal as a reporter on the story was to figure out where exactly Adachi died. But soon, salacious details emerged that were difficult to confirm. “There were leaks happening all over the place,” he recalled. He ultimately obtained an incident report that detailed Adachi’s final moments.

The San Francisco Chronicle also obtained a copy of the report, but not from Carmody.

The document, as reported by KGO-TV in San Francisco, detailed that shortly before his death, Adachi had dinner with a woman named “Caterina” who was not his wife, then returned to an apartment he arranged to use for the weekend. The woman called 911 for emergency medical help, and Adachi was taken to the hospital, where he died. Later that night, officers went to the apartment and found “alcohol, cannabis-infused gummies and syringes believed to have been used by the paramedics,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Photos of the apartment circulated online by KTVU and other outlets. The city medical examiner would later conclude Adachi died of an accidental overdose of cocaine and alcohol.

Carmody said he called up his clients and sold the fruits of his news-gathering, which included the police report. He told the Chronicle that he sold the package to three TV stations.

Amid a public mourning, city officials chastised police for allowing the details of a confidential report to end up in the headlines. The police launched an internal investigation into the report’s leaking, which led to Friday’s raid at Carmody’s home.

“The citizens and leaders of the City of San Francisco have demanded a complete and thorough investigation into this leak, and this action represents a step in the process of investigating a potential case of obstruction of justice along with the illegal distribution of confidential police material,” police spokesman David Stevenson said in a statement Saturday to The Times.

The city’s public defender’s office, which Adachi once led, said in a statement that “all of the criminal justice and City Hall leaders agree that the release of police reports in this fashion is wrong and we hope that the truth of who leaked the police report will emerge so that it doesn’t happen again.”

The FBI was not involved in the search. Katherine Zackel, a spokeswoman for the agency, said two agents were present solely to interview the journalist.

To Carmody and his attorney, the raid smacks of impropriety and an invasion into the work of a professional reporter.

“It’s designed to intimidate,” said his lawyer, Thomas Burke. “It’s essentially the confiscation of a newsroom.”

Burke, a partner with Davis Wright Tremaine who has previously represented the Los Angeles Times, said under usual circumstances, journalists would receive a subpoena and retain an attorney to help secure protections. That process also is efficient for detectives, he added, because of the time and resources required to search through phones, hard drives, computers and notebooks.

“So much information has nothing to do with the purpose of their investigation,” Burke said. “If you are looking for one piece of information, that’s why you issue a subpoena.”

The affidavits that police used to search Carmody’s home were filed under seal, so it’s unclear what investigators told the judge to secure the warrants. Burke said he did not know whether the judges were aware Carmody was even a journalist.

The search has brought Carmody’s business, North Bay News, to a halt. As a freelance videographer for nearly three decades, he works through the night to supply the locations, video, images, and on- and off-camera interviews that feed the beast of local TV news. The search warrant documents show police collected check stubs from Fox, Disney and CBS, among others.

He estimates that police hauled off between $30,000 and $40,000 worth of equipment, along with personal photos. Without functional equipment, he cannot work — so his friend Aaron Lee started an online fundraiser to collect donations.

Carmody is insisting on protecting his source’s identity. And he swears he never paid the person for the police report. “No,” he said, “not even a cup of coffee.”

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1 minute ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

A few weeks before, he said two San Francisco police officers — a sergeant and a lieutenant — knocked on his door and “cordially” asked him to identify the source who shared a confidential police report into the Feb. 22 death of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

“Of course, I politely declined,” Carmody said of the visit from police last month. He had the same response Friday. 

After police came into his home, officers handcuffed him for six hours as they collected his equipment. A receipt certifying his release from custody confirms he was handcuffed from 8:22 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. The search warrant for his home said officers were investigating “stolen or embezzled” property.

It was unclear whether he was handcuffed because of the guns he says he legally owns. Carmody said the guns were locked in a safe, and he said that over the hours-long search, it was evident officers didn’t view him as a threat. At one point, some police took off their bulletproof vests on account of the heat, he said.

While he was shackled, officers got a second warrant to search his newsroom, where police seized a thumb drive, CDs and, inside a safe, the sought-after police report about Adachi’s death.

Incredible.

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1 hour ago, rockaction said:

This one is making the rounds. Police attempt to batter down journalist's door to obtain leak/source for prior reportage about Public Defender's death in San Francisco. Good story inside.

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sf-reporter-police-raid-adachi-20190511-story.html

It must really suck to live in an authoritarian police state like . . . uh . . . San Francisco. 

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On 5/15/2019 at 11:55 AM, SaintsInDome2006 said:

So much effort wasted on the campus and social media controversies, this is the heart and soul of American free speech.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

When a reporter would not betray his source, police came to his home with guns and a sledgehammer

The banging jolted Bryan Carmody awake. Outside his San Francisco home Friday morning, the longtime journalist saw a throng of police officers with a sledgehammer, trying to break down his front gate.

Carmody told the eight to 10 officers he would only let them in with a search warrant. Police confirmed a judge signed off on their barging into his home. Then the officers drew their guns and scoured his residence. When police left, they carted away his notebooks, computers, cameras, phones and even his fiancee’s iPod from her college days.

“I knew what they wanted,” Carmody told The Times. “They wanted the name.”

A few weeks before, he said two San Francisco police officers — a sergeant and a lieutenant — knocked on his door and “cordially” asked him to identify the source who shared a confidential police report into the Feb. 22 death of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

“Of course, I politely declined,” Carmody said of the visit from police last month. He had the same response Friday.

After police came into his home, officers handcuffed him for six hours as they collected his equipment. A receipt certifying his release from custody confirms he was handcuffed from 8:22 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. The search warrant for his home said officers were investigating “stolen or embezzled” property.

It was unclear whether he was handcuffed because of the guns he says he legally owns. Carmody said the guns were locked in a safe, and he said that over the hours-long search, it was evident officers didn’t view him as a threat. At one point, some police took off their bulletproof vests on account of the heat, he said.

While he was shackled, officers got a second warrant to search his newsroom, where police seized a thumb drive, CDs and, inside a safe, the sought-after police report about Adachi’s death.

Carmody, 49, said he has not shared the name of his source with anyone, and no markings on the document could be traced to the person who provided it.

Fellow journalists in the Bay Area and beyond were outraged by the search of Carmody’s home and office. And the incident provided a new wrinkle into the evolving aftermath of the unexpected death of Adachi, who left behind a legacy of championing civil rights.

Initial reports said the 59-year-old public defender had been traveling when he suddenly had a heart attack.

Carmody remembers his goal as a reporter on the story was to figure out where exactly Adachi died. But soon, salacious details emerged that were difficult to confirm. “There were leaks happening all over the place,” he recalled. He ultimately obtained an incident report that detailed Adachi’s final moments.

The San Francisco Chronicle also obtained a copy of the report, but not from Carmody.

The document, as reported by KGO-TV in San Francisco, detailed that shortly before his death, Adachi had dinner with a woman named “Caterina” who was not his wife, then returned to an apartment he arranged to use for the weekend. The woman called 911 for emergency medical help, and Adachi was taken to the hospital, where he died. Later that night, officers went to the apartment and found “alcohol, cannabis-infused gummies and syringes believed to have been used by the paramedics,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Photos of the apartment circulated online by KTVU and other outlets. The city medical examiner would later conclude Adachi died of an accidental overdose of cocaine and alcohol.

Carmody said he called up his clients and sold the fruits of his news-gathering, which included the police report. He told the Chronicle that he sold the package to three TV stations.

Amid a public mourning, city officials chastised police for allowing the details of a confidential report to end up in the headlines. The police launched an internal investigation into the report’s leaking, which led to Friday’s raid at Carmody’s home.

“The citizens and leaders of the City of San Francisco have demanded a complete and thorough investigation into this leak, and this action represents a step in the process of investigating a potential case of obstruction of justice along with the illegal distribution of confidential police material,” police spokesman David Stevenson said in a statement Saturday to The Times.

The city’s public defender’s office, which Adachi once led, said in a statement that “all of the criminal justice and City Hall leaders agree that the release of police reports in this fashion is wrong and we hope that the truth of who leaked the police report will emerge so that it doesn’t happen again.”

The FBI was not involved in the search. Katherine Zackel, a spokeswoman for the agency, said two agents were present solely to interview the journalist.

To Carmody and his attorney, the raid smacks of impropriety and an invasion into the work of a professional reporter.

“It’s designed to intimidate,” said his lawyer, Thomas Burke. “It’s essentially the confiscation of a newsroom.”

Burke, a partner with Davis Wright Tremaine who has previously represented the Los Angeles Times, said under usual circumstances, journalists would receive a subpoena and retain an attorney to help secure protections. That process also is efficient for detectives, he added, because of the time and resources required to search through phones, hard drives, computers and notebooks.

“So much information has nothing to do with the purpose of their investigation,” Burke said. “If you are looking for one piece of information, that’s why you issue a subpoena.”

The affidavits that police used to search Carmody’s home were filed under seal, so it’s unclear what investigators told the judge to secure the warrants. Burke said he did not know whether the judges were aware Carmody was even a journalist.

The search has brought Carmody’s business, North Bay News, to a halt. As a freelance videographer for nearly three decades, he works through the night to supply the locations, video, images, and on- and off-camera interviews that feed the beast of local TV news. The search warrant documents show police collected check stubs from Fox, Disney and CBS, among others.

He estimates that police hauled off between $30,000 and $40,000 worth of equipment, along with personal photos. Without functional equipment, he cannot work — so his friend Aaron Lee started an online fundraiser to collect donations.

Carmody is insisting on protecting his source’s identity. And he swears he never paid the person for the police report. “No,” he said, “not even a cup of coffee.”

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

I think that the time and effort isn't wasted. Campuses seem to be the bellwether of how much speech is allowed, both by legality and by approbation.

However, this strikes me as more fundamental regarding pure political speech than most of the campus controversies. This is the actual police battering down doors to find a leak within their department.

Who watches the watchers? 

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