Search Results for: Salaries of public employees – Page 180

Tabloid gossip threatens credibility of mainstream journalism

The sight of the mainstream media picking up tabloid speculation about a Will and Jada Pinkett Smith breakup is distubing, writes Mary Elizabeth Williams in a commentary for Salon, “…the Smith story…illuminates how utterly pathetic the mainstream media’s mania for headlines has become. Just toss up any old dubious report, and if you’re really butt-covering, tack a question mark at the end of it. You’ve got a story!” In a desperate attempt to fill space,

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First Amendment sidelined in defunding of Planned Parenthood in Ohio

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Ohio could cut its funding of Planned Parenthood because it conducts abortions. The court ruled that the Ohio law defunding abortion services “does not violate the Constitution because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions.” (Politico, March 12, 2019, by Alice Miranda Ollstein) The court majority did not consider the First Amendment argument, that the withdrawal of funding violated the free

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Trump’s calling media ‘enemy of the people’ triggers strong reactions

Citing anonymous source stories, President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on “Face the Nation” that the president was sincere in blasting the press as the people’s enemy. Priebus named two problematic stories, the New York Times report that Trump aides had several contacts with Russian intelligence during last year’s election and a Wall Street Journal article about U.S. intelligence keeping sensitive information from the president to keep it from being leaked. (The

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Justice Department seizure of reporter’s records jolts free press

In a sudden reversal of policy, the Justice Department seized the phone and e-mail records of a New York Times reporter continuing an aggressive stance begun under the Obama administration. Prosecutors seized Ali Watkins’ records as part of an investigation of a former Senate Intelligence Committee aide, James A. Wolfe, arrested for lying to investigators in an investigation of the leak of classified documents. (The New York Times, June 10, 2018, by Michael M. Grynbaum)

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FBI closes investigation of documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras

The FBI closed its six year long investigation of an award-winning documentary filmmaker after failing to find any crime or threat to national security. During the six years, the government subjected Laura Poitras to numerous border searches and interrogations. Airport delays numbered over 50 from 2006 to 2012. Poitras and the EFF contend that she was singled out for her films about post-9-11 life in Yemen and Iraq that ran counter to the U.S. government

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Hallmark settles with Paris Hilton over uncompensated use of her image

Paris Hilton settled a lawsuit with Hallmark over Hallmark’s use of her image and a trademarked catchphrase, “That’s hot,” in a greeting card. First Amendment advocates said the settlement had dire implications for free expression. -db The Kansas City Star September 27, 2010 By Diane Stafford She may be famous for being famous, but she still has a right to control some uses of her face, name and trademarks. Paris Hilton and Hallmark Cards Inc.

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Federal appeals court blocks release of video by anti-abortion group

The 9th Circuit backed an injunction against anti-abortion proponents from releasing secret recordings of abortion providers. The anti-abortion group had signed an agreement not to distribute any information from the meeting without consent from the providers, the National Abortion Federation. The court ruled the information was obtained through fraud. The anti-abortion group said the information was newsworthy so they had a right to release the recordings since they contained evidence of crimes.  A federal district

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House bill would require judicial oversight of phone record seizure

The Justice Department would have to obtain federal court approval to seize telephone and e-mail records from journalist under a House of Representatives bill proposed by a bipartisan groups of legislators. (The Hill, May 22, 2013, by Jordy Yager) The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) argues that the bill is only a partial fix and that in seeking permission for the records, the government should have to show probable cause under the Fourth Amendment. EFF also

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Bush e-mails: Federal court rules White House office records secret

A U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the White House Office of Administration is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act and does not have to release records pertaining to the disappearance of millions of Bush administration e-mails. -DB CBS News May 19, 2009 By Stephanie Condon A White House office will not have to publicly release its records relating to the disappearance of millions of e-mails from the Bush administration, a federal appeals

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Professor loses free speech case against University of Colorado

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled against a professor who wanted to sue the University of Colorado for firing him. The school upheld the right of Ward Churchill, an American Indian studies professor, to make what many thought were outrageous statements about the victims of 9/11 but found multiple instances of academic misconduct including plagiarism and falsehoods in his academic writings. -db From the Courthouse News Service, September 12, 2012, by Jonny Bonner. Full story  

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White House press briefings in peril: Trump White House increases lack of access

President Donald Trump has effectively shut down White House press briefings while casting blame on the media for his move. He repeated his criticism of the press as rude purveyors of fake news. (Salon, January 22, 2019, by Shiro Tarlo) The White House Correspondents’ Association said the failure to hold daily briefings was a “retreat from transparency and accountability [that] sets a terrible precedent. Being able to question the press secretary or other senior government

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Supreme Court supports move to withhold photos of abused detainees

The U.S. Supreme Court vacated a decision of a federal appeals court to require the Pentagon to release photos of showing torture of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. -DB Jurist November 30, 2009 By Jay Carmella The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday vacated and remanded a decision  by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that required the Pentagon to release photos of abused detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Court remanded Dept.

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California state senator introduces covey of open government bills

California Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco intends to introduce a number of bills in 2012 to give the public greater access to the workings of their government. The bills include SB 1000 keeping the California Public Utilities Commission from withholding information about their regulation of PG&E responsible for a recent catastropic fire and SB 1001 that would improve the state’s campaign finance and lobbying database. The database has crashed several times in the past

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New Jersey police officer wins free speech ruling in Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that a police officer could sue Paterson, New Jersey for an alleged violation of his First Amendment rights after he was demoted after he was wrongly believed to be involved in a political campaign. The officer had picked up a campaign sign for his mother and was not a part of any campaign. (The New York Times, April 26, 2016, by The Associated Press) In spite of the fact

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Press freedom: Seattle police drop effort to obtain videos of protest

The Seattle police announced they will abandon efforts to subpoena five local news groups to obtain unpublished videos and photos during a demonstration on May 30. They said they needed the videos to help them solve arson and theft cases. The department said it would take until next year to obtain the visual evidence and that they arrested a suspect in one of the cases. The media groups appealed to the state Supreme Court a

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Chevron subpoenas e-mails of opponents of alleged toxic waste dumps

A legal battle has begun to fight Chevron’s subpoenas of years of private e-mails of activists, journalists and attorneys. Chevron claims that there was a conspiracy to defraud the company over alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Amazon. -db From a press release from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, October 22, 2012.   Full release      

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Police body cams failing to fulfill promise of transparent police actions

A bill to make police body-cam footage a matter of public record stalled again in the California state legislature, failing to make a September 1 deadline. The bill introduces a test that could be used by law enforcement to determine when to disclose body-cam footage in incidents such as fatal shootings.  As it stands now, police routinely block access by claiming the footage is part of an ongoing investigation.  (Courthouse News Service, September 6, 2017,

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