Congressional hearings have produced headlines and raised hackles over whether the Justice Department has misused its powers in going after The Associated Press and a Fox News reporter’s telephone records. We were privileged to host James Goodale, famed First Amendment attorney and author, on Wednesday, June 19, to discuss his extremely timely and best-selling book “Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles.”
Where does freedom of the press supersede national security? Is the current administration too aggressive in shutting down leakers and potential whistle-blowers? Should there be new legislation to protect the press trying to report on the government? As the government also looks to prosecute Julian Assange for the largest series of leaks in the nation’s history, these questions will become even more important and pressing.
James Goodale is just the person to ask, and suggest answers, for these critical questions. He first came to national attention as the lawyer defendingThe New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case, one of the most important First Amendment cases in U.S. history.
He wrote recently that “Obama’s record on national security press matters is bad enough without being remembered for succeeding where Nixon failed.”
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About James Goodale
James C. Goodale is a leading First Amendment lawyer with Debevoise & Plimpton. He has represented The New York Times in every one of its cases to go to the Supreme Court. These were the Pentagon Papers case (The New York Times Co. v. The U.S.), The New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (libel),Branzburg v. Hayes and The New York Times Co. v. Tasini (digital rights).More about Goodale
Praise for “Fighting for the Press”
“An engaging work which underlines the importance of fighting for a free press. Without press freedom, informed public debate is curtailed and democratic accountability diminished.” – Kofi Annan“The most detailed and honest inside account yet of the successful judicial fight to publish the Pentagon Papers by the uncompromising lawyer in the middle of it. Goodale and his colleagues won the right to tell the American people that their government – and their President – had lied, manipulated and cheated their way into a disastrous war … while the war was still being waged. This history could not come at a more important time.” – Seymour M. Hersh
“James Goodale is an American treasure and so is Fighting for the Press. This is a story worthy of John Grisham, except this one actually happened; it is fact, not fiction – and it’s still unfolding. ” – Dan Rather