Catherine Herridge just got axed in layoffs at CBS News while fighting First Amendment case

Catherine Herridge has just gotten the axe in layoffs that targeted CBS News from the parent company Paramount.

According to the New York Post, Herridge butted heads with CBS News president Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews:

Catherine Herridge — an award-winning senior correspondent whose First Amendment case is being closely watched by journalists nationwide — was among the hundreds of employees at CBS parent Paramount who got pink slips on Tuesday, sources told The Post.

Insiders said that Herridge had clashed with CBS News president Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews — a sharp-elbowed executive who was investigated in 2021 over favoritism and discriminatory hiring and management practices, as revealed by The Post.

Sources said that CBS News’ Washington bureau where Herridge covered national security and intelligence was hit particularly hard.

This is all happening while Herridge is fighting a First Amendment case where the judge has ordered her to reveal how she learned about a specific federal probe in 2017:

Herridge may soon be held in contempt of court for not divulging her source for an investigative piece she penned in 2017 when she worked for Fox News and be ordered to personally pay fines that could total as much as $5,000 a day.

A source close to the situation said Fox News is paying for Herridge’s legal counsel.

Herridge’s departure comes as the journalist faces heat for not complying with US District Judge Christopher Cooper’s order to reveal how she learned about a federal probe into a Chinese-American scientist who operated a graduate program in Virginia.

The scientist, Yanping Chen, had been investigated for years on suspicions she may have lied on immigration forms related to work on a Chinese astronaut program, according to Herridge’s report.

Chen has since sued the government, saying details about the probe were leaked to damage her reputation. She pushed the court to hold Herridge in contempt and make her personally pay daily fees, which could range from $500 to $5,000, rather than allowing CBS or Fox to do so.

Last August, the judge ruled that Chen’s need for the evidence “overcomes Herridge’s qualified First Amendment privilege.” First Amendment advocates have pushed back, arguing that journalists can perform their public service function only if they are able to protect the identities of their confidential sources.

This judge, by the way, is an Obama appointee. If he forced her to pay these fines, I’m sure she’ll appeal and hopefully win this case.

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