Former Reporter Alleges ‘Journalistic Rape’ by CBS News Following Termination, File Seizure

by State Brief

First Amendment violated by legacy media outlet, Catherine Herridge told House Judiciary Committee.

The CBS network was accused of “journalistic rape” by a former reporter after it fired her then seized her documents while she was working to “expose government corruption.”

Award-winning reporter Catherine Herridge, whose work included exposing Biden administration scandals, testified to a House Judiciary Committee Thursday that her First Amendment had been violated by the news organization.

“When my records were seized I felt it was a journalistic rape,” Herridge told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who’d asked if she’d wrote reporting critical of the Biden administration, to which she agreed.

“When the network of Walter Cronkite seizes your reporting files, including confidential source information, that is an attack on investigative journalism,” she added.

Elsewhere in her statements, Herridge explained how she was fired by CBS shortly after being held in contempt by a refusing to reveal her sources on a national security story.

“CBS News’ decision to seize my reporting records crossed a red line that I believe should never be crossed by any media organization,” the Emmy award winning reporter stated.

“Multiple sources said they were concerned that by working with me to expose government corruption and misconduct they would be identified and exposed.”

“CBS News locked me out of the building and seized hundreds of pages of my reporting files, including confidential source information.”

Herridge continued:

My current situation arises from a Privacy Act lawsuit. I am only a witness in the case. It is not common for these cases to reach the stage of holding a reporter in contempt, but when such cases happen, they have profound consequences, impacting every journalist in the United States. Forcing a reporter to disclose confidential sources would have a crippling effect on investigative journalism, because without reliable assurances of confidentiality, sources will not come forward. The First Amendment provides protections for the press because an informed electorate is at the foundation of our democracy. If confidential sources are not protected, I fear investigative journalism is dead.

Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson also appeared at the press freedom hearing to discuss her own experiences with the network after she wrote stories critical of the Obama administration.

Watch the full “Fighting for a Free Press: Protecting Journalists and their Sources” House Judiciary Committee hearing:

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