Media Research Center Head Brent Bozell Fires Off Blistering Letter to CBS for Seizing Herridge’s Files

As we first reported on February 13, CBS unexpectedly “laid off” veteran investigative journalist Catherine Herridge and roughly 20 other reporters as part of nearly 800 CBS employees losing their jobs. Herridge’s release was immediately suspect — given several of her recent investigations.

Things quickly grew even more questionable.

As we reported on Thursday, George Washington University Law Professor and Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley dropped a bombshell about the mass lay-off, writing in a column that after Herridge was fired, “CBS officials took the unusual step of seizing her files, computers, and records, including information on privileged sources,” which allegedly violated her standard CBS contract.

Turley also wrote:

The timing of Herridge’s termination immediately raised suspicions in Washington. She was pursuing stories that were unwelcomed by the Biden White House and many Democratic powerhouses, including the Hur Report on Joe Biden’s diminished mental capacity, the Biden corruption scandal, and the Hunter Biden laptop. She continued to pursue these stories despite reports of pushback from CBS executives, including CBS News President Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews.

Media Research Center Founder and President Brent Bozell was among those who slammed CBS for the move, posting on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday:

This cannot stand. If CBS wants to salvage a shred of its journalistic credibility, it will apologize to Ms. Herridge on-air today and return everything to her immediately.

I’ll go out on a safe limb and say none of that will happen.

And on Friday, Bozell really went off on CBS.

Bozell fired off a blistering letter to CBS News CEO Wendy McMahon about the network’s “troubling and unprecedented decision.” Bozell was fired up from the first sentence to the last, blasting CBS for “journalistic malpractice” right off the bat.

I write to object to the journalistic malpractice occurring at CBS News. The seizure of Ms. Catherine Herridge’s files, with the potential for others to sort through them to decide if and what will be returned to her, is unquestionably against journalistic standards. In the midst of her already controversial layoff, your network has seriously damaged its reputation and journalism as a whole.

While the “your network has seriously damaged its reputation and journalism as a whole” ship sailed long ago — not just for CBS News but also for all left-wing media outlets — CBS’s purported “unprecedented” seizure of Herridge’s files only confirms that the ship continues to sail ever farther away.

Bozell continued:

The seizure of Ms. Herridge’s files during layoffs in February is one that Jonathan Turley uncovered. Anyone familiar with the field of journalism, such as yourself, should know that one of the core principles is the protection of a reporter’s sources. 
To hold confidential files Ms. Herridge had, including some from her time at Fox News, is in rare form. Ms. Herridge’s files belong to her, not your network. Even the SAG-AFTRA union announced it “strongly condemns” the decision. This is unethical behavior, and anyone who thinks otherwise has no place running a news organization.
Ms. Herridge was one of the few remaining journalists at CBS that actually deserved to be called a reporter. Despite pressure from leadership, she actually covered the flaws of the Left, including the Biden Bribery Scandal. 
Was the seizure of her files retribution for her investigative reporting on Democrats? Did the White House have anything to do with this incident, or is it merely election interference on behalf of CBS? Your readers and viewers deserve answers.

Every word Bozell wrote is correct — and CBS News will never answer those questions.

Finally, Bozell reiterated in more detail what he first wrote in his Thursday X post.

CBS could have, and should have rewarded Ms. Herridge for being an honest investigative journalist and steered towards providing fact-based news. Instead you have not only terminated her for defying your political beliefs and retained her files in the face of basic journalistic ethics. Your actions towards Ms. Herridge reeks of election interference and deserves full investigation.
To salvage any shred of CBS’s journalistic credibility, I call on you to apologize to Ms.Herridge on-air and return everything to her immediately.

Again, CBS News is likely going to do zero of the above.

However, the besieged network appeared to cry uncle — or at least pretend to — by Thursday night, saying in a statement:

We have respected her request to not go through the files, and out of our concern for confidential sources, the office she occupied has remained secure since her departure.
We are prepared to pack up the rest of her files immediately on her behalf — with her representative present as she requested.

Hold the bus. 

Given the near-total lack of trust in the so-called “mainstream” media in America, how do we know that CBS hasn’t already gone through Herridge’s files? And how do we know that the network’s claimed “concern” for Herridge’s confidential sources wasn’t a complete crock of crap? 

We don’t know the answers and we — along with Catherine Herridge — likely never will.

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