Allison Hope Weiner might want to do some research into the curious case of Jim Taricani, the Providence, RI investigative reporter who did 6 months for refusing to name a source.
Weiner, readers may recall, got served a temporary restraining order aimed at stopping her from posting audio tapes of Anthony Pellicano and his clients on her HuffPost blog. The NY Times made the tapes available as well (Pellicano and his indicted lawyer Terry N. Christensen), but where’s their TRO? Christensen’s trial will start about a month after Pellicano’s ends, and his legal team says that the tapes compromise his right to a fair trial.
The NYT has lawyers just sitting around, waiting for someone to try interfere with freedom of the press, but is the Huffington Post likely to stand by their blogger? Weiner’s represented by Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. The hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet.
While covering the Plunder Gate case of former Providence mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr, Tarcani received a surveillance tape from a source to whom he promised anonymity, and aired it, in defiance of a federal court order against the dissemination of such evidence. He was cited for contempt of court, fines ratcheted up, and he did 6 months of home confinement, with NBC underwriting his legal defense.
Robert Iafolla, writing in the LA Daily Journal, takes the “it can’t happen here” tone. Weiner’s CDs were subject to a protective order issued in April 2006, although she’s not actually bound by that order. It’s a safe bet that Pellicano didn’t give them to her, and unlikely that she found them at a yard sale, so that leaves, oh, who knows? the defense team?
The whole motion is probably designed not to not put a gag order on Weiner but to get her testimony per the source of whoever actually violated the protective order. Or course, that puts the Huffington Post in an uncomfortable spot.