She wants to give up New York Times not in their trial against the conservative disclosure platform Project Veritas, but now she has already suffered the second defeat. A judge at the Constitutional Court of New York State has just upheld a ruling from November that the Times may not use certain documents on the platform as the basis of its reporting, but also ordered that the newspaper hand over these documents and delete all electronic copies . Times– Editor Arthur Gregg Sulzberger has announced that an appeal will be filed immediately.
At Project Veritas, founded by conservative activist James O’Keefe, is a group that seeks to prove wrongdoing or bias to mainstream media and liberal groups. Members of the group often appear under a false identity and film their encounters with journalists or liberal activists with hidden cameras. Legally, they are moving in a gray area.
the Times had quoted from documents of a lawyer of the group, in which this gives advice on how the procedure with a hidden camera could move within the legal framework. The newspaper argues that it received the documents in a legally correct manner, so it is free to quote from them. Project Veritas lawyers, on the other hand, argue that Times I disregarded the relationship of trust between lawyer and client. A view that Judge Charles Wood has now adopted for the second time.
The verdict is considered surprising because freedom of the press is usually interpreted in the US in a generous way
Sulzberger criticized the decision in clear terms. He saw it as a restriction of press freedom, he said, and as a violation of the precedent of the Pentagon Papers of 1971. At that time, the US Supreme Court had in favor of Times and the Washington Post Judged when it came to the fact that the administration of President Richard Nixon wanted to prevent the coverage of the Vietnam War on the basis of classified documents.
A lawyer from Project Veritas hailed the ruling as a victory for the first amendment to guarantee freedom of expression. the Times argues that the exact opposite is true. James O’Keefe, the group’s founder, said in a statement: “The Times is so blinded by its hatred of Project Veritas that everything it does ends in a self-inflicted wound.”
Judge Wood’s verdict received attention in media circles. He wrote: “Without a doubt, every media company believes that everything it publishes is of public interest.” However, this is not always the case. “Our cell phones beep and buzz all day long with messages supposedly reflecting our interests. But some things are not fodder for consumption by the public,” the judge wrote.
As the Times came into possession of the records prepared by attorney Benjamin Barr for Project Veritas is not entirely clear. The newspaper itself states: through classic reporter work. Project Veritas, on the other hand, argues that the Times acted outside the law.
The verdict is considered surprising because the freedom of the press in the US is usually interpreted extremely generously. The Associated Press news agency and the Washington Post have expressed their solidarity with the Times. The Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, a press rights organization, described the decision as one of the “most serious threats to press freedom”. Eric Wemple, media critic of the Washington Post, expressed concern about the first amendment on Twitter.
Times-Editor-in-chief Dean Baquet had already expressed himself accordingly after the first judgment in November. The verdict was unconstitutional, he decided. “When a court silences journalism, it leaves citizens in the lurch and undermines their right to know,” he said.
Judge Wood sees it differently. He wrote: “It stands Times Completely free to investigate, reveal, interview, photograph, record, report, publish, comment on, expose or even ignore any aspect of Project Veritas, according to your own specifications of what thinks it is newsworthy. “Just not, he wrote, referring to the communication between lawyer and client.
Regardless of the dispute with the Times The US Department of Justice is currently investigating Project Veritas. The group is alleged to have stolen a diary of Ashley Biden, the daughter of US President Joe Biden. However, this investigation played in the proceedings against the Times not matter.