Spy vs. Spy

Here is another example of how the elite media ignore stories that don’t fit their agenda. In this case it’s the San Francisco Chronicle, with it’s own issues in the news, that of aggressive journalists profiting off of leaked grand jury testimony in the BALCO case.

This story follows the same paths that Hewlett-Packard, investigations do. HP, as you’re probably aware, is accused of hiring private detectives who, in a bid to discover whether unhappy board members were leaking confidential information to journalists.

At The Chronicle, phone and e-mail logs are watched and detectives are hired by the newspaper to go after journalists to gather enough evidence to fire them. I reported that cover-up last week. This is just one little blog on citizen journalism, so it takes a while to get the word out.

Now SF Weekly reports that it’s SFPD detectives with badges have been snooping on journalists. Dealing with a leak problem of its own in 2003, the police department used HP-style tactics, covertly examining the phone records — reflecting 2,478 phone calls — of journalists covering the department. By doing so, the SFPD could quickly identify any anonymous tipsters or inside sources within the department who communicated with the reporters.

Stitched together from insider accounts and internal police documents, the story in the underground weekly examines the collateral damage caused by a cover-up, a tangle implicating at least one high-ranking SFPD officer, Deputy Chief Morris Tabak, and, quite possibly, Chief Heather Fong.

While the private investigators in the HP scandal apparently lied to phone companies to gain access to the personal phone records of reporters and HP board membeHere is another example of how the elite media ignore stories that don’t fit their agenda. In this case it’s the San Francisco Chronicle, with it’s own issues in the news, that of aggressive journalists profiting off of leaked grand jury testimony in the BALCO case.

This story follows the same paths that Hewlett-Packard, investigations do. HP, as you’re probably aware, is accused of hiring private detectives who, in a bid to discover whether unhappy board members were leaking confidential information to journalists.

At The Chronicle, phone and e-mail logs are watched and detectives are hired by the newspaper to go after journalists to gather enough evidence to fire them. I reported that cover-up last week. This is just one little blog on citizen journalism, so it takes a while to get the word out.

Now SF Weekly reports that it’s SFPD detectives with badges have been snooping on journalists. Dealing with a leak problem of its own in 2003, the police department used HP-style tactics, covertly examining the phone records — reflecting 2,478 phone calls — of journalists covering the department. By doing so, the SFPD could quickly identify any anonymous tipsters or inside sources within the department who communicated with the reporters.

Stitched together from insider accounts and internal police documents, the story in the underground weekly examines the collateral damage caused by a cover-up, a tangle implicating at least one high-ranking SFPD officer, Deputy Chief Morris Tabak, and, quite possibly, Chief Heather Fong.

While the private investigators in the HP scandal apparently lied to phone companies to gain access to the personal phone records of reporters and HP board members, the police didn’t have to go to those lengths. Because the main phone line running into the press room belongs to the city, Tabak and his team could simply request the phone records from the city’s Department of Telecommunications and Information Services. Given the circumstances, Dalglish figures there’s probably no potential lawsuit facing the department for collecting the data. Still, she says, “I can certainly think of no better way to declare war on the press corps. You have just eviscerated any trust you had with the news media.”
rs, the police didn’t have to go to those lengths. Because the main phone line running into the press room belongs to the city, Tabak and his team could simply request the phone records from the city’s Department of Telecommunications and Information Services. Given the circumstances, Dalglish figures there’s probably no potential lawsuit facing the department for collecting the data. Still, she says, “I can certainly think of no better way to declare war on the press corps. You have just eviscerated any trust you had with the news media.”

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46 thoughts on “Spy vs. Spy

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