Press freedom advocates have warned that Veritas’ project has just been stifled by the ‘New York Times’

In an unusual and chilling ruling Thursday, a New York judge command NS New York Times refrain from “disseminating or further publishing” information about Project Veritas, an activist group led by a far-right provocateur James O’Keefeand from “subsequent efforts to collect or collect” the material — a clear First Amendment violation that was immediately criticized by journalists and free speech activists. “Previous bans — which were not to be published — were among the most serious threats to press freedom.” Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Press Freedom, said in a declare Thursday. “The trial court should never have entered this order. If it does not immediately remove the previous restraint, “Brown continued,” an appeals court must step in and do so. “

Temporary stay, requested by Project Veritas and granted by a Westchester County Judge Charles D. Wood, come a week later Times report about internal memos in which an attorney for the organization, Benjamin Barr, describes how it can conduct its vaccination operations without violating federal law. Project Veritas, which has made a name for itself with its espionage against Democrats and libertarian groups, is under investigation by the Justice Department; Last week, federal agents raided O’Keefe and former special agents as part of an investigation into how the organization obtained the President’s diaries. Joe Bidendaughter of, Ashley. NS Times said it had the documents prior to that raid, but Project Veritas argued with Wood that their publication violated attorney-client privilege and was an attempt by Times defame the group in a 2020 defamation case submit against the paper.

The judge’s order is temporary, barring the newspaper from reporting on Project Veritas until next week’s hearing. However, a court barring a press agency from doing its job constitutes a serious offense to press freedom, and Times promise to fight decisively. “This ruling is unconstitutional and sets a dangerous precedent.” Dean Baquet, executive editor of Times, said in a statement. “When a court silences the press, the court shuts down its citizens and undermines their right to know.” Elizabeth Locke, the attorney representing Project Veritas in the defamation lawsuit, refuse that the order was pre-restricted. But as First Amendment advocates and others in the press have pointed out, that argument is clearly absurd.

What is particularly interesting about the location of Project Veritas is that, because Washington Post‘NS Erik Wemple shown Sixth, O’Keefe and his associates are First Amendment autocrats. O’Keefe’s group may be more like a right-wing activist group acting as an outlet, but it fair to be taken care of about the precedent it sets when the government decides what is and what is journalism. It is also true that there are legitimate questions about whether the government has been “aggressive” in attacking Project Veritas, as Locke argued in court. But in its case against Times, the group’s hypocrisy revealed itself. “The leaders of the Veritas Project like to be First Amendment purists,” Wemple writes, “but the actions they are now asking the court to authorize will make doctrine That goes bad.”

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