CBS Excuse Over Catherine Herridge FileGate Doesn’t Pass Smell Test

CBS Excuse Over Catherine Herridge FileGate Doesn’t Pass Smell Test

CBS Excuse Over Catherine Herridge FileGate Doesn’t Pass Smell Test

It was shocking enough to find that Catherine Herridge was one of those fired at last month’s CBS blood-letting. But now we find that CBS stepped WAY over the line regarding her firing. Jonathan Turley broke the news yesterday morning.

There is trouble brewing at Black Rock, the headquarters of CBS, after the firing of Catherine Herridge, an acclaimed investigative reporter. Many of us were shocked after Herridge was included in layoffs this month, but those concerns have increased after CBS officials took the unusual step of seizing her files, computers and records, including information on privileged sources.


I have spoken confidentially with current and former CBS employees who have stated that they could not recall the company ever taking such a step before. One former CBS journalist said that many employees “are confused why [Herridge] was laid off, as one of the correspondents who broke news regularly and did a lot of original reporting.”

That has led to concerns about the source of the pressure. He added that he had never seen a seizure of records from a departing journalist, and that the move had sent a “chilling signal” in the ranks of CBS.

As the day went on, the story got worse …for CBS. 

Catherine Herridge is a journalist with outstanding integrity. She researches her reports thoroughly. Yet, last year, she came under fire for refusing to reveal her confidential source(s). 

Herridge, now a reporter for CBS News who worked for Fox News at the time, has a Thursday deadline to explain to a federal judge why she should not face the civil sanction — and the hefty, accumulating fines that could come with it.

U.S. District Court Judge Christopher R. Cooper ruled Aug. 1 that Herridge must reveal how she learned about a federal probe into a Chinese American scientist who operated a graduate program in Virginia — the subject of several stories Herridge reported for Fox.

Yanping Chen was never charged as a result of the investigation, which sought to determine whether she had lied about her military service and whether her school’s student database could be accessed from China, as the Fox News reports revealed. But after those stories brought the probe to light, Chen sued the federal government alleging that Herridge had been given leaked materials that violated her privacy, including photographs and images of internal government documents.

There are definite First Amendment implications regarding that specific case. However, there’s other reporting that Catherine has done in more recently that has pissed off all the right people within the top circles and especially the Biden family.

Yes, how DARE she report on Hunter Biden, the laptop, IRS whistleblowers, Burisma and more? 

While it certainly surprised many when Herridge moved from Fox to CBS, the fact remains; she is a top-notch journalist. CBS benefitted from her presence. Thus, it was quite shocking when she was abruptly laid off last month. But this news regarding CBS keeping her files, laptop, and much more is highly concerning on multiple levels. 

Brit Hume is spot on here. It looks incredibly suspicious that Herridge wasn’t allowed to take her own work with her, work that likely included what she had developed during her time at Fox News. Other journalists are equally concerned. 

SAG-AFTRA, which is not only an actors union, it’s a union for journalists as well, issued their own scathing opinion on the matter. 

Yet the statement CBS issued, in my opinion, doesn’t pass the smell test. 

A CBS News spokesperson said in a statement, “Catherine’s personal belongings were delivered to her home one week ago, and we are prepared to pack up the rest of her files immediately on her behalf – with her representative present as she requested. We are awaiting a response from Catherine and/or her representative to do so. We have respected her 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.”

Yeah, that’s a boatload of gaslighting right there. CBS had NO reason to keep Catherine Herridge from going into her office and gathering up her files. Yes, I know, people will talk about work product belonging to the company and all that, but it’s highly evident due to the reaction that work product for journalists is USUALLY treated very differently. 

“It’s so extraordinary,” a source familiar with the situation told The Post, noting that the files — which are presumptively now the property of CBS News — most likely contain confidential material from Herridge’s stints at both Fox and CBS.

The source said the network boxed up all her personal belongings except for Herridge’s notes and files and informed her that it would decide what — if anything — would be returned to her

And, as much as I hate to engage in speculation, what was to stop someone higher up at CBS or BlackRock from going in and combing through her files? 

What’s interesting is, at the time of this writing, who is and isn’t reporting on this issue? Guess who ISN’T springing to the defense of the First Amendment and thus Catherine Herridge? The Washington Post, New York Times, and Fox News.  

As our readers know, we usually (and with good reason) dunk on the media because of how bad most of them are. This is not the case here. Catherine Herridge, a honest journalist, evidently ruffled to0 many of the wrong feathers. Which puts CBS on the hot seat for how they’ve mishandled the entire situation. 

Feature Photo Credit: 1950 CBS ad Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons, cropped and modified 

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  • JACK says:

    So the real question is – What information does she have that is so important that it cannot be released? Perhaps something that even she is not completely aware of, but has other people nervous. CBS is not doing this without direction from somewhere.

  • Cameron says:

    At this point, journalists should be keeping files in external locations and bomb Twitter if this ever happens again.

    • Scott says:

      Spot on Cameron. Ever since the last election (and probably before) Fox News has straight up shit the bed, and become no better than any of the other networks.

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