In a stunning rebuke, a New York court slammed the New York Times in a Friday ruling, blasting it for its tactics and for having improperly obtained and published legal documents belonging to Project Veritas.
Notably, the court said:
Here, the court’s protective order does not act as an impermissible prior restraint on the Times. As important as the First Amendment’s protection against prior restraints is, on the present facts, the erosion of the attorney-client privilege is a far more imminent concern.
Continuing, it remarked that attorney-client privilege must remain strong for justice to be properly served, saying:
“What is also at stake in the dissemination of privileged information into the public domain is the privacy of the individuals mentioned or discussed therein and the importance of full and free communication between attorney and client.
Notably, that would mean the sort of “hit and run journalism” of the sort the NYT is known for is impermissible, as the court says:
‘Hit and run’ journalism is no more protected under the First Amendment, than speeding on a crowded sidewalk is permitted under a valid driver’s license…Steadfast fidelity to, and vigilance in protecting First Amendment freedoms cannot be permitted to abrogate the fundamental protections of attorney client privilege or the basic right of privacy.
While the Times went on to call the decision a threat to journalism, as if defending free and fair access to the courts is a threat to the First Amendment, Project Veritas’ lawyers cheered it, tweeting:
“NY Trial court issued devastating opinion ruling that the @nytimes improperly obtained and published its litigation adversary’s non-waived privileged communications”
As a result of the opinion, the NYT will have to surrender or destroy any copies of the privileged communications it has. Unfortunately, the NYT was not fined or otherwise punished for its ridiculously immoral journalistic practices.