Freelance journalist Josh Wolf recently spent a month in jail for refusing to comply with a grand jury subpoena to turn over video footage he took at a rally this past July in opposition to the G8 economic summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. The grand jury is investigating a police car incident from the protest. Neither incident was shown in footage that local television stations purchased from Wolf for their broadcast. Wolf claimed a journalist’s right to withhold unpublished material and well as confidential sources. Although he offered to show the tape to the judge who held him in contempt, but the judge would not accept that offer.
Law and Disorder caught up with Josh Wolfe hours before he was to have turned himself in to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin. After we spoke to him he was given a two-day extension before he returns to prison for possibly nine months or more.
Attorneys for Wolf, hope to keep their client free while he appeals the case. They plan to ask the full Ninth Circuit appeals court in San Francisco next month to review the case and may also take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In his argument for revoking bail, prosecutor Jeffrey Finigan wrote that Wolf must be jailed because the “coercive intent behind the recalcitrant witness statute is lessened with each passing day.” A journalist’s rights to withhold unpublished material and to defend his sources are protected by California’s shield law, but that law does not apply in federal court.
Law and Disorder also spoke with Tim Karr Campaign Director with Free Press about Josh Wolf’s case, shield laws for journalists and the first amendment implications of the case. Karr oversees Free Press campaigns and outreach efforts, including campaigns on public broadcasting and noncommercial media, fake news and propaganda, journalism in crisis, and the future of the Internet.
Co-host Michael Ratner tells how he argued the case in 1971 that ultimately help create journalist shield laws in New York City. It started when police arrested WBAI station manager Ed Goodman for refusing to turn over taped statements by rebelling prisoners at the “Tombs,” the New York City jail. Pacifica Timeline
On July 31 2006, Fidel Castro delegated his duties as President of the Council of state, first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party and the post of commander in chief of the armed forces to his brother Raúl Castro. Many say the transfer of power is temporary as Castro recovers from intestinal surgery. We look beyond the US media spin at the governmental institution of Cuba and the 46 year old war United States has waged against the communist island.
Guest – Peter Roman, professor and political scientist who teaches at Hostos Community College in New York and author of a number of books including People’s Power: Cuba’s Experience With Representative Government.
This multi-layer book examines the historical and political origins of the theory of People’s Power that underpins the Cuban experience.