Will Gawker Media’s “Journalist” Defense Hold Up After Gizmodo Writer Gets Raided by Cops?


New York City-based blog network Gawker Media has a tech site, Gizmodo. Recently, Gizmodo writer Jason Chen got his hands on an iPhone prototype that the company admitted to paying for. Now, California police have raided Chen’s house, and they took a “grip” of his gear. The following legal defense was sent to them by Gawker Media’s in-house legal council, Gaby Darbyshire:

Note the “A search warrant may not be validly issued to confiscate the property of a journalist…Jason is a journalist who works full-time for our company.”

From Howard Kurtz’s Washington Post Media Notes column on Monday, June 22, 2009:

“We don’t seek to do good,” says Denton, wearing a purplish shirt, jeans and a beard that resembles a three-day growth. “We may inadvertently do good. We may inadvertently commit journalism. That is not the institutional intention.”

Sometimes, people say things. And sometimes, we get to find out what they really mean.