November 14, 2004

The Jim Taricani Case

Carroll Andrew Morse

Providence Journal media writer Andy Smith has an update on the Jim Taricani situation in Sunday's paper.

For those unfamiliar with the events, here is the background. Jim Taricani is a political reporter for the local NBC affiliate, WJAR-10. In 2001, about two months before the (former) Mayor of Providence was indicted on federal corruption charges, an anonymous source provided Taricani with a videotape showing one of the Mayor's aides taking a bribe. Taricani showed the tape on WJAR.

The judge presiding over the case, Judge Ernest Torres, ordered Taricani to reveal his source. Taricani refused. Beginning in March, Torres imposed a $1,000-a-day fine on Taricani. This Thursday, Taricani goes to trial for criminal contempt, and, according to Smith, could face six months in jail.

There is a solution to this problem, though it will not fully please everyone. The case is a federal matter. As such, it is possible for President George W. Bush to use his power of the pardon to end it. This week, I will lay out the reasons why President Bush should pardon Jim Taricani...

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I'll look forward to seeing that.

As of right now, I don't see why a person with evidence of a crime shouldn't be forced to cough up that evidence or be sent to cool his jets in jail for a while. Just because Taricani has a press pass, that doesn't give him any special Constitutional rights that I wouldn't have if I knew something about a crime.

I'm also not sure why the President should involve himself in such a minor matter as a reporter with a martyr complex. But, as I said, I'll look forward to reading your arguments.

~ Pseu.

PS - Just found out about this blog from Ramesh Ponnuru's post on The Corner. As an RI conservative, I wish you much success.

Posted by: Pseudolus at November 14, 2004 11:48 AM

Your questions, both on the substance and the politics, are valid. I hope to answer them in my next several posts on the subject. And you may rest assured, my arguments will be thoroughly conservative...

Posted by: Andrew at November 14, 2004 12:46 PM

By Able Tookus
Americans are feeling less and less free by the day and yet we allow ourselves to be bullied and terrorized by over zealot government appointed judges who believe they are Gods in total control over our lives. Case in point is a horrendous abuse of power by U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres, who had the audacity to convict a journalist for not revealing his information source. Jim Taricani of WJAR TV News in Road Island was found guilty of criminal contempt on the 18th of November because he refused to name his source that gave him a video tape that shows the Providence Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. and his aid Frank Corrente taking a bribe from an undercover FBI informant who gave them a large envelope full of money.
Jim Taricani nor WJAR TV had broken no laws by airing the video, and yet the Judge ordered a special prosecutor to find out who had leaked the video tape because Judge Ernest Torres had placed a gage order on all information and people connected to the case. Now Mr. Taricani who had a Heart Transplant several years ago and isn’t in the best of health, is facing 6 months in jail and has already been fined $85,000 Thousand Dollars by Terrorist Judge Ernest Torres who imposed a $1,000 dollars a day fine on Mr. Taticani to loosen his tung back in March.
Since Judges, Cops, District Attorneys are able to withhold and protect their sources and under the Constitution in the First Amendment "government shall make no laws infringing of the rights of free speech or freedom of the press", anyone who has had a 9th Grade history education can see the injustice in this, and the blatant attempt to squelch the First Amendment Rights of all Americans starting with the free press.
This is a grievous attack on the First Amendment and any judge whether Federal or State who spits in the face of our Constitution should be removed from the bench, tried as a traitor and dealt with as any traitor to the country would be. Because for far too long, judges, cops, district attorneys and many other government agencies have had total immunity from ever being held accountable for their un-Constitutional traitorous actions against the people of this country. It is high time we the people take a stand and tell them we are out in force and have zero tolerance towards any official that violates our Constitutional Rights! - A.T.

Posted by: Able Tookus at November 19, 2004 2:12 PM