Fox host: NY Times and CNN are “meddling in our US government” by reporting on leaks in the Manafort investigation
Julie Banderas: "Where do these media organizations start to take responsibility for meddling in our U.S. government? … It should be illegal to report on it if you’re reporting on top-secret information.”
Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
From the September 20 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now:
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JULIE BANDERAS (HOST): The timing of these leaks are important, we must make mention of. Just as Robert Mueller is ratcheting up his investigation of Paul Manafort, all of a sudden, poof, ooh, all of these leaks are coming out, and by whom? Left-leaning media. No coincidence here.
HOWARD KURTZ: Well, the stories in CNN and The New York Times each appear within an hour, suddenly we're learning new details of the raid on Manafort’s home, we’re learning that he was told he could be indicted, we are learning about the wiretapping which has sparked so much media speculation. And yes, it’s a very important story. But hold on, this is outrageous. I used to cover the Justice Department, you never got leaks like this in a criminal investigation. You’d get maybe a one day heads-up if somebody was going to be charged. And we've all kind of rushed into the what does this mean, and is he trying to flip Manafort. It is illegal to leak this kind of information and yet everybody in the media just kind of races past that.
BANDERAS: Yeah. First of all, how irresponsible is it for these organizations, New York Times and CNN, reporting on these leaks because it sets a terribly dangerous precedence. It’s a slippery slope. Let's say in exchange there are future leaks that could potentially affect our national security. Do you go and report that? I mean, where do you draw the line? Where do these media organizations start to take responsibility for meddling in our U.S. government? This evidence is top secret. It's illegal to leak this stuff. It should be illegal to report on it if you’re reporting on top-secret information.
KURTZ: But it’s not under the First Amendment --
BANDERAS: Of course it’s not.
KURTZ: And it’s not realistic to expect news organizations, if the information is accurate and can be confirmed --
BANDERAS: Journalistically, it’s irresponsible.
KURTZ: Well, it gives me pause. As a journalist, I’ve certainly reported my share of leaks.