Monday, October 09, 2006

Game of Shadows and Sports Reporting Moving Forward

Bob Smiley brought up a great issue that I am disappointed I didn’t address sooner. In his most recent post titled, "I don't recall," he discussed the unfortunate situation for San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams.

The fact these two reporters have to go to court to protect their sources is freakin absurd. These two reporters helped to shed light of a serious, serious issue and may have saved lives in the process? Saved lives you ask? A lot of children today want to emulate their athletic heroes. If Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi are using steroids to stay on top, some children may decide to try them as well. These two reporters should be given medals, not thrown in jail.

From a lawyer perspective, why can’t they just "plead the fifth" on every question that is asked of them? At this point, I will be shocked if they don’t get thrown in jail. What would be interesting though, is what if their source is someone like Jeff Novtony – the lead investigator for the government? That would be a PR nightmare for a lot of people in this country.

The President of the United States brought these two reporters to the White House to thank them for uncovering this amazing story. But then, on the flip side, he won't go to bat for them as the wait to determine their fate in court. Cases like this and the reporter from the NY Times is going to change reporting as we know it. Where does it end? Can the courts come after bloggers in the future?


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