Tuesday, May 21, 2019

This is what attacking press freedom looks like

When President Donald Trump chides the media as "Fake News" or "Enemy of the People," it is undeniably petulant. I daresay it can even be labeled as inappropriate. But to convey it as an "attack on press freedom" is a bit hyperbolic since media outlets are neither prevented from nor punished for actually doing their jobs, even when being highly critical of the Trump administration.

But this? This would be a legit charge of attacking freedom of the press.

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.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed's reaction:

Journalist Yashar Ali rightly characterizes the outrage all journos should be conveying.

So next time the smarmy Jim Acosta or the insufferable April Ryan are not called upon during a White House press briefing and thus engage in their obligatory thumb-sucking, it's perfectly appropriate to say "Folks, you're no Bryan Carmody."


1 comment:

Bike Bubba said...

The leaks of the information wrongly taken from Ali are exactly why freedom lovers from across the political spectrum ought to oppose the Democrats' fishing expedition into the affairs of President Trump. With no plausible crime in sight, they're going to get, and release selectively, this information.

Remember next year. The 4th Amendment matters.