House Judiciary launches inquiry after CBS News’ reported seizure of Catherine Herridge’s files

First Amendment concerns set a House committee after CBS News following reports on their handling of terminated journalist Catherine Herridge’s “investigations into the Biden family.”

Concern that corporate media’s covering for the left had gone too far loomed large Friday in the wake of Herridge’s firing alongside 800 other employees from parent company Paramount Global. After it had been reported that the outlet had seized all of her files upon termination, the House Judiciary Committee has demanded to know what really led to the journalist’s termination.

A letter from committee chair Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan (R) was issued Friday to CBS News President Ingrid Ciprián-Matthews making note of Herridge’s investigation of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal along with the family of President Joe Biden.

Additionally, the letter noted how, “Currently Ms. Herridge is, and at the time of her termination was, engaged in a First Amendment-based legal dispute in which a federal judge threatened to hold her in contempt and levy significant fines if she did not divulge sources who gave her information about a federal investigation.”

Setting a deadline for March 1, Jordan’s letter demanded, “A briefing to the Committee concerning the individual(s) at Paramount Global, CBS Broadcasting, Inc., or CBS News who made the decision to terminate Ms. Herridge and the reasons for such termination, including the decision to seize Ms. Herridge’s confidential materials as a part of this termination” along with all documents and communications regarding those who had access to her materials and reviewed, copied or examined them.

While the accusations against CBS News were troubling enough to draw the attention of the House of Representatives and said “to threaten to chill good journalism and ultimately weaken our nation’s commitment to a free press,” a spokesperson claimed the possession of Herridge’s files was being reported all wrong.

“CBS News strongly denies any items were seized,” a spokesperson for the network had said in a statement to the media and insisted they had “respected [Herridge’s] request to not go through the files, and out of our concern for confidential sources, the office she occupied has remained secure since her departure.”

“We are prepared to pack up the rest of her files immediately on her behalf — with her representative present as she requested,” added the network spokesperson.

Herridge herself had shared the statement from SAG-AFTRA, the union representing on-air talent, that had addressed the allegations against CBS News in part, “This action is deeply concerning to the union because it sets a dangerous precedent for all media professionals and threatens the very foundation of the First Amendment.”

“From a First Amendment standpoint,” the statement added, “a media corporation with a commitment to journalism calling a reporter’s research and confidential source reporting ‘proprietary information’ is both shocking and absurd.”

Kevin Haggerty


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