Monday, September 12, 2005

CNN Prevails in Lawsuit

From CNN:
HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) -- Rather than fight a lawsuit by CNN, the federal government abandoned its effort Saturday to prevent the media from reporting on the recovery of the dead in New Orleans.


CNN's brief argued, "It is not the place of government to replace its own internal judgment for that of a free and independent media."

Very well said.

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, word didn't get to those on the ground in NO as CNN found out today:
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): There is so much destruction in St. Bernard Parish, every street, every corner, almost too difficult to comprehend.

(on camera): Last week, you couldn't walk down this street in St. Bernard Parish. It was flooded. Now the water has receded and recovery teams are finding more bodies.

(voice-over): We came across three bodies, bodies officials did not want us to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vacate the area, please. Sir, sir, you can't be here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I won't. I'm not going to. Please don't.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, yes. I was told no one could be here.

LOTHIAN (on camera): Well, would you like to talk to our lawyer? You can talk to our lawyer here in Atlanta.


LOTHIAN: Would you like to talk to our lawyer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, I was told you guys are not allowed to be here.

LOTHIAN: We have a lawsuit that says that we can be here. You're defying a federal -- a federal judge's order by trying to kick us out of here. It's right here.

(voice-over): Despite a legal document allowing CNN to shoot at will, officials kept blocking our view.

(on camera): They've moved two Humvees into our view, so that we cannot see them moving the body into the truck. And they've also put sort of a wall of military and what appears to be coroner types to block our view of the body. Right now, we cannot see what's going on. We are blocked. We're prevented from seeing it.


LOTHIAN: After the federal judge voiced his concerns and after CNN contacted officials in Washington, the Pentagon sent word reiterating again down to the troops here in the field that they should not block the path of reporters.

Again, Aaron, I want to point out that CNN is not simply just trying to go out there and get gruesome shots of bodies, but simply trying to document all aspects of this tragic story.

We'll see what happens tomorrow............

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