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Judge holds Catherine Herridge in contempt, fines her $800 per day for protecting source. But where is the media outrage?
John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images

Judge holds Catherine Herridge in contempt, fines her $800 per day for protecting source. But where is the media outrage?

A federal judge held veteran investigative reporter Catherine Herridge in civil contempt of court on Thursday for upholding journalistic ethics and not revealing her confidential sources.

Federal district Judge Christopher Cooper ordered Herridge to pay a fine of $800 per day until she divulges the information the court wants.

Cooper wrote in his order:

The Court does not reach this result lightly. It recognizes the paramount importance of a free press in our society and the critical role that confidential sources play in the work of investigative journalists like Herridge. Yet the Court also has its own role to play in upholding the law and safeguarding judicial authority.

Fortunately, Cooper stayed the ruling for 30 days, giving Herridge ample time to appeal before she starts incurring daily fines.

The case stems from Herridge's tenure at Fox News. In 2017, she reported on a federal investigation into Chinese-American scientist Yanping Chen, whom the FBI once investigated over "suspicions of Chinese military ties and whether she had lied on U.S. immigration forms," the New York Times noted. The FBI never charged Chen.

In 2018, Chen sued the federal government, alleging that government employees had leaked her information to Herridge in violation of the Privacy Act.

Last year, Cooper ordered Herridge to reveal the sources of her information about Chen, but she refused, citing her First Amendment rights.

After Cooper's ruling on Thursday, Herridge's attorney, Patrick Philbin, said, "We disagree with the district court’s decision, and to protect Ms. Herridge's First Amendment rights, we intend to appeal."

Fox News, meanwhile, condemned Cooper's ruling for the "deeply chilling effect" that it will have on journalism and the First Amendment.

Advocacy groups concerned about the First Amendment and free press also condemned Cooper's decision, and the legacy media wrote stories about it. But there was an glaring lack of media outrage over Cooper's decision.

In fact, by Friday morning, CNN was the only cable or broadcast news network that had covered the story on TV — for a mere 13 seconds.

There is also a glaring lack of social media posts from virtue-signaling media pundits and news reporters decrying Cooper's decision and the threat it poses for journalism.

Perhaps the lack of outrage from Herridge's colleagues stems from the fact that Herridge, an award-winning reporter, often reported on topics the legacy media ignores, most recently covering allegations of Biden family corruption and the Hunter Biden saga before CBS News decided to terminate her employment.

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Chris Enloe

Chris Enloe

Staff Writer

Chris is a staff writer for Blaze News. He resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can reach him at cenloe@blazemedia.com.
@chrisenloe →