Did the Sheriff's Department Illegally Search Reporter's Records?

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When actor Mel Gibson was arrested in 2006, the LA County Sheriff's Department played it as a routine stop for drunk driving. Then TMZ, the website renowned for celebrity gossip, reported that Gibson had attempted to escape and made statements that were loudly profane and anti-Semitic. Moreover, the arresting officer had been ordered to lie. That all turned out to be accurate and, two weeks ago, The LA Times revealed that the Sheriff's department tried to find the source of the leak by obtaining a search warrant for the telephone records of TMZ founder Harvey Levin. Media law experts and reporters' groups accused the Sheriff of violating state and federal laws protecting journalists and their sources. Levin himself wasn't talking, until last night at a meeting of the Radio & Television News Association.




Warren Olney