Watch: Fired CBS Journalist Catherine Herridge Speaks on What Network Did to Her – ‘Journalistic Rape’

Watch: Fired CBS Journalist Catherine Herridge Speaks on What Network Did to Her – ‘Journalistic Rape’

In a stunning testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, award-winning former CBS News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge accused the network of seizing hundreds of pages of her confidential reporting files, including information on sources, after terminating her employment in a move Herridge referred to as “journalistic rape.”

The testimony was part of a hearing by The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government titled “Fighting for a Free Press: Protecting Journalists and their Sources.”

Herridge, who had worked at CBS News for over four years and was part of an Emmy-winning team, told Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan that on Feb. 13, she was abruptly fired via a Zoom call. Immediately after, she was locked out of her email and blocked from accessing the office.

“Miss Herridge, you wrote stories critical of the Biden Administration, is that true?” Jordan asked.

“That’s fair,” Herridge responded.

“I mean, you wrote a number of things about the laptop issue about Hunter Biden, all kinds of things, you wrote critical of the Biden family, the Biden business operation, the Biden brand, and all that stuff,” Jordan pushed back.

“Congressman, I reported out the facts of the story,” Herridge responded.

“You sure did. You reported the facts. And then CBS fired you, is that right?” Jordan asked.

“Uh, my position was terminated,” Herridge replied.

But it wasn’t just that she was terminated. Herridge explained that CBS News also “seized hundreds of pages of my reporting files, including confidential source information.”

“When the network of Walter Cronkite seizes your reporting files, including confidential source information, that is an attack on investigative journalism,” Herridge said.

Herridge eventually got back her files thanks to the support of the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, a labor union representing people in the entertainment industry, including actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, and more.

When Chief Broadcast Officer for the SAG-AFTRA News & Broadcast Department, Mary Cavallaro was asked by Jordan if she had ever witnessed another situation where “someone is leaving employment at a major news organization, they seize their documents,” Cavallaro could not recall such a time.

Jordan pointed to a pattern with an earlier witness, acclaimed journalist Sheryl Atkinson, who had testified that after she wrote stories critical of the Obama administration and the government in general, “strange things started happening” to her phone and computer, leading her to believe that she had been hacked.

“You’re critical of the government, [in] Miss Atkinson’s situation, and Shazam! they start doing all kinds of strange things to your phone line, to your computer,” Jordan said.

“You’re critical of the government at a major news organization, and you’re an award-winning journalist,” Jordan continued, now referring to Herridge. “You’ve been there five years, you get fired. But it’s not just you got fired. In fact, you can, maybe there’s nothing to that, but what we do know is they seize your documents. That’s scary as well. And you talk about a chilling effect on the First Amendment. I don’t know how it could be more chilling.”

“I just want to be clear, Congressman,” Herridge stated, “Wherever you work, if this happened to you, it’s an attack on free press, it’s an attack on the First Amendment. It makes it more challenging for reporters to work in the future. That disrupts the free flow of information to the public. They call it a journalism profession for a reason — because it’s about an informed electorate. And it’s a cornerstone of our democracy.”

“I can only speak for myself. When my records were seized, I felt it was a journalistic rape,” she added.

While the media screams about “dictatorships” and “the end of democracy” under a second Trump term, the truth is that democracy in our nation began its decline the moment major news organizations decided to become puppets of the Democratic Party.

If a highly respected journalist like Catherine Herridge could be so callously treated by CBS News, knowing that she has a reputation and voice that precedes her, what chance is there for little-known whistle-blowers and truth-tellers to succeed in bringing government overreach and corruption to light?

Herridge is currently being held in contempt of court for refusing to reveal her sources in a story about a scientist who was investigated by the FBI, according to The Wrap.

She faces a penalty of $800 a day until she reveals her source, but the judgment has been stayed for 30 days to give her a chance to appeal.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

Our freedom hangs precariously as more and more of the media let go of their journalistic integrity in favor of partisan loyalty.

But as long as a few journalists like Herridge remain, there is still hope.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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