CBS News exec to receive free speech award after signing off on Catherine Herridge’s firing

The CBS News executive who signed off on the recent firing of acclaimed investigative reporter Catherine Herridge is set to be honored with a free speech award.

In an example of how censorship in the media is now seen as one of the highest virtues of a profession gone rotten, CBS News president Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews was tabbed to be one of the Radio Television Digital News Association as one of the honorees at the upcoming First Amendment Awards.

The ironic choice will be recognized along with thirteen others at the 33rd edition of the annual event which will be held at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. next month.

The event will be emceed by none other than MSNBC host and former Biden White House spox Jen Psaki.

“The RTDNA must be tone deaf to give Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews and CBS News an award for the First Amendment,” an unnamed longtime journalist said of the award, according to the New York Post. “It tarnishes the whole meaning of the award.”

Herridge, an award-winning journalist whose dogged work didn’t win her many friends within the Biden administration, was unexpectedly fired in a downsizing of CBS employees earlier this month.

Her ouster wasn’t the only indignity suffered by Herridge, CBS also went to the unprecedented lengths of seizing her her personal belongings including her research work.

After her firing, constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley reported that the network took “the unusual step of seizing her files, computers and records, including information on privileged sources.”

“I have spoken confidentially with current and former CBS employees who have stated that they could not recall the company ever taking such a step before. One former CBS journalist said that many employees ‘are confused why [Herridge] was laid off, as one of the correspondents who broke news regularly and did a lot of original reporting,’” Turley wrote in a column for The Hill. “That has led to concerns about the source of the pressure. He added that he had never seen a seizure of records from a departing journalist, and that the move had sent a ‘chilling signal’ in the ranks of CBS.”

The network has since returned Herridge’s files after the House Judiciary Committee launched an inquiry into the matter.

“The Foundation selected Ciprián-Matthews for her commitment to excellent and ethical journalism, especially at a time when the stakes are so high,” RTDNA president Dan Shelley told the New York Post, not commenting on Herridge’s firing. “Her leadership during some of the most challenging news stories in American history is a testament to the power of journalism.”

According to the RTDNA website, also set to receive awards are: Gio Benitez of ABC News, New Hampshire Public Radio’s Lauren Chooljian, Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal, Dylan Lyons of Spectrum News 13, Joan and Eric Meyer of the Marion County Record, ProPublica, Jesse Walden of Spectrum News 13, NBC News’ “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker, CNN’s Clarissa Ward, WTVF-TV’s Phil Williams, and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) whose presence does more to delegitimize the event than bringing in Psaki to emcee it.

Chris Donaldson


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