The Chron, with an assist from Carl Bernstein, filed a motion today seeking to quash federal subpoenas that call on reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams (pictured) to identify the source of grand jury testimony they reported in articles about the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Barry Bonds. The Chron’s argument: If the law was bent or broken by the leaking of the testimony, that damage was more than balanced by the benefits of the articles. In other words, the ends justifies the means.

Among the documents the Chron is filing in U.S. District Court is an affidavit by Bernstein (at left in this 1973 AP file photo with Bob Woodward), who says the court should allow the reporters to keep their source or sources anonymous. “Almost all of the articles I co-authored with Mr. Woodward on Watergate could not have been reported or published without the assistance of our confidential sources and without the ability to grant them anonymity, including the individual known as Deep Throat,” Bernstein wrote in an affidavit.

Another supporting affidavit comes from former Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent (pictured), who writes: “I believe that the BALCO steroid scandal engulfing MLB is the biggest crisis to hit MLB since the Black Sox scandal in 1919 and that Mr. Fainaru-Wada and Mr. Williams have done a service by naming names and bringing national attention to the major crisis now facing America’s Pastime … I believe that the journalism here at issue as well as the investigative work it typifies should be encouraged.”

SF Press Club News

One Comment

  1. “The ends justifies the means”? That’s what Nixon’s argument was — the very person Woodstein went after. Now journalists are invoking a Nixonian argument?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>