Mel Gibson And The First Amendment?
There is a controversy brewing in California over an investigation into who leaked information concerning Mel Gibson’s 2006 DUI arrest. That arrest got a lot of publicity not only for Gibson’s anti-Semitic rants, but also for allegations that the Los Angeles County police tried to hush up the incident. Now the police department is trying to figure out who in the department leaked information to TMZ founder Harvey Levin. In the course of the investigation, police obtained a warrant for Levin’s phone records. First Amendment advocates are concerned that giving authorities the right to scour through any reporter’s records creates a chilling affect on the ability to gather news. Obviously the authorities don’t want to be hamstrung in plugging leaks. It’s a tension that’s always been a part of the First Amendment. And probably always will be.