It looks like Glenn Beck is about to be handed his head by a Bill Clinton appointed judge.
After the Boston Marathon bombing Beck reported on his site, The Blaze, that a Saudi Arabian student who was injured at the scene of the bombings was the money man behind the terrorist attack. The Department of Homeland Security announced that they had cleared the Saudi student but Beck continued to report that he was the money man based on information from an unnamed DHS employees.
The student sued Beck for defamation and the judge has ruled that Beck has to give up the names of the two DHS whistleblowers.
There’s an obvious first amendment concern with a judge requiring Beck to give up confidential sources. If he refuses the judge could impose sanctions which could hurt his defense in the lawsuit, and she could assess fines or send Beck to jail for contempt of court.
This Clinton appointee judge hammered back in her ruling. In addition to demanding the names of the whistleblowers she ruled that the Saudi student was not a public figure at the time of the accusation by Beck. He insisted the student was a public figure because he had given numerous interviews after the bombing.
By ruling the student was not a public figure a judge lowered the bar for the student to win the case. All he has to do at this point it show that Beck and his media empire were negligent in broadcasting their reports. If she had ruled in Beck’s favor the student would have had to prove that he either knew they were broadcasting false reports or acted with reckless disregard.
You can bet that Beck will appeal her ruling to give up the whistleblowers names on First Amendment grounds. He may appeal her other rulings as well, and if Beck loses you can bet this will be appealed.
Will this liberal, Clinton appointee judge get away with chipping away at the First Amendment? Eight years ago I would’ve said no, today, I’m not so sure.
Sign up to get alerts from Joe!