This week FoxNews.com reporter Jana Winter is in court in Colorado, where she is discussing a story she wrote about the Aurora shooter, James Holmes. Winter was subpoenaed in February over the story, which reveals that Holmes sent his psychiatrist a notebook filled with violent imagery. There is more on the story here.
Napolitano calls the case a “witch hunt,” and argues that Winter should not have even been subpoenaed.
All this means is that if judges want to compel reporters to reveal sources, they can, and the so-called shield laws are meaningless. This has become a power play between the court, the State, and the press. What need does the court have now for the identity of my colleague’s sources? She reported truthfully and accurately of a matter of acute public importance. She first informed the world that Mr. Holmes sent a notebook to a mental health professional full of details about how he was going to kill people.
When one weighs the service Ms. Winter performed–the revelation of a truth–against the wishes of the State in wanting to know who spilled the beans, this is not a close call.