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SBD/Issue 9/Law & Politics
Chronicle Reporters Given Up To 18 Months For Not Testifying
Published September 22, 2006
|Williams (l) And Fainaru-Wada
To Appeal Jail Sentence
WRITERS RALLY IN SUPPORT: In Oakland, Art Spander reports he and several other sportswriters, including the Chicago Sun-Times’ Rick Telander, ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, the N.Y. Daily News’ T.J. Quinn, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s Bob Padecky, the S.F. Chronicle’s Gwen Knapp and the Oakland Tribune’s Dave Newhouse, appeared at the courthouse wearing T-shirts saying “Sportswriters for Freedom of the Press.” Spander: “We, sportswriters, the people who normally comment on the news, not make it, ... had been trying to send a message. Trying to say one of the principles upon which this nation was founded was in danger” (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 9/22). Telander, who spearheaded the protest, writes, “Sportswriters never are united by any cause ... yet here was something that affected us all. ... We are linked now. And we won’t be split” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/22).
MORE REAX: In Toronto, Stephen Brunt writes, “In this case, the law is pretty clear against them. ... So Fainaru-Wada and Williams will be locked up once their appeals are exhausted. And, no, that doesn’t seem right” (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 9/22). In Baltimore, Rick Maese writes, “Once their ability to do their jobs is impaired, a chain reaction is set off. If a reporter can’t promise key sources anonymity, people won’t share important information and big stories will go unreported. The ultimate victim is a society that’s less informed” (Baltimore SUN, 9/22). ESPN.com’s Wright Thompson wrote Thursday was a day “in which the government won and we all lost” (ESPN.com, 9/21).