Our View: Mainstream Media Silence on Raid of Reporter’s Home Discouraging

October 29, 2013
TCO's Hudson appeared on FoxNews yesterday to discuss the unprecedented seizure of her files and notes by federal agents

TCO’s Hudson appeared on FoxNews Monday to discuss the unprecedented seizure of her files and notes by federal agents

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.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

3 Responses to Our View: Mainstream Media Silence on Raid of Reporter’s Home Discouraging

  1. October 30, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Excellent comments and observations ! You are spot on in recognizing the dangerous precedent this sets for ALL journalists. It’s an honor to have such a brave woman as Mrs. Hudson on TCO’s staff, she’s one of a kind, and other media outlets out here like ours, who support her 100 %. Our prayers are with her and her family !

    • Bob Terry
      October 31, 2013 at 11:16 am

      We have no mainstream media … They are all to busy making sure Obama is never called on the carpet … You journalists are safe as long as you don’t cross the dear leaders line of thought and policy … TCO Mrs Hudson …I’ll advocate for ya till we’re silenced…Obama ..all day all the time Obama …hey lets pay for another trip …because I can’t make a stand or look bad … hey sign up for my Obama lectures..at your taxpayer expense … Can I take the Obama course on audit and never show up ? I am so sick of the mainstream media …hey Denver Post !! wonder why you need to prostitute yourselves in the grocery store ??? and people still aint signing up ….

  2. Tony Zinnanti
    November 16, 2013 at 6:06 am

    The greater public will engage in the “by-stander” effect until it is far too late. People in this country tout “freedom” as one of its virtues, but will not engage in the affirmative act of its preservation. As a lawyer of 15 years and also having done some journalism, it is evident how the largesse of our population will permit this country to be transformed into something unrecognizable. Already, our Founding Fathers would have been jailed.

    The agents that engaged in this “search” need to be made an example of; it needs to become their personal problem. I know for a fact, having litigated 42 USC 1983 claims, that the very act of doing so sends a message. The only way to combat this kind of tyranny is to shove it right back in their face.

    It’s unfortunate that many Americans are quick to throw in the towel on our judicial processes and begin to speak in terms of wholesale government disintegration. The system is far more in tact than what people believe and we have means for redress. But, the system will never be better than those that engage in it. Doing so is our sworn duty as Americans.


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