We couldn’t help but notice that media interest in the outrageous story of the federal raid on TCO reporter Audrey Hudson’s house in Maryland is starting to look a tad one-sided.
Hudson made the rounds Monday on television and radio, describing her ordeal in the Aug. 6 pre-dawn raid in which federal agents, armed with a search warrant for a potato launcher, seized instead her files on stories she had written in the mid-2000s on problems in Homeland Security’s Federal Air Marshals Service.
Hudson’s account is riveting, but apparently some media are more riveted than others. The first story ran Friday in the Daily Caller, after which Hudson appeared on FoxNews, Dennis Miller’s nationally syndicated radio show and other radio programs.
In other words, conservative media outlets are very interested in her story. The so-called “mainstream media”? Not so much.
Those who did follow up on the story were quick to label her as something different from a regular reporter. The Atlantic Wire called her a “conservative investigative journalist.” The website Mediaite referred to her as a “conservative reporter.”
This raises a question: When’s the last time any reporter from the New York Times was identified by the Atlantic Wire as a “liberal investigative journalist”? We’re pretty sure the answer is “never.”
For the record, Hudson is an award-winning reporter who has worked for publications with a conservative editorial philosophy, including TCO. And her treatment at the hands of federal agents should shock everyone employed in journalism, no matter what the publisher’s political bent.
The Associated Press understands this: The wire service released a thoroughly researched story Oct. 25 on Hudson’s ordeal that referred to her as a “former Washington Times reporter and freelance author.”
Then again, the AP also knows a thing or two about the current administration’s overreach when it comes to journalists, having had two months’ of phone records seized in May by the Justice Department.
It’s no secret that many liberal media outlets are loathe to criticize the Obama administration, but we would hope such publications would make an exception when a federal agency stomps on the constitutional rights of the free press.
“It’s clearly intimidation,” Hudson told FoxNews’ Gretchen Carlson. “I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to another reporter. Because we can’t just have the government coming into your house on a minor warrant and walk out with whatever files they please of our work product.”
Today, it’s Audrey Hudson, but tomorrow, it could be anyone—including journalists working in the “mainstream media.” Those who refuse to speak out now on behalf of independent-minded reporters like Hudson may find one day that there’s nobody left to speak up for them.