More Contempt For Reporters

Now there are many things that one can say about Walter Pincus, a fantastic Post reporter who really led the way in the right direction about questioning the intelligence leading up to the Iraq War. There are lots of different opinions of him, but we wager there aren’t too many people who hold him in contempt.

That said, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer is one of them. As Plamegate II develops in the Wen Ho Lee case, she ruled yesterday that he would be in contempt of court for refusing to divulge information regarding his sources in the Lee investigation.

As the Post’s Charles Lane reports, “Collyer’s order carried no threat of jail time. She imposed a fine of $500 a day until Pincus agrees to testify, but suspended the penalty for at least 30 days to give him time to appeal. The judge also gave Pincus 48 hours to seek his sources’ permission to reveal their names, ‘in order,’ she wrote, ‘to avoid a repetition of the Judith Miller imbroglio.'”

Four other reporters — the NYT’s James Risen, the AP’s H. Josef Hebert, the LAT’s Bob Drogin and ABC News’s Pierre Thomas (then at CNN) — have already been held in contempt in the case.

Between Bob “Mr. Run Amok” Woodward (more on him later) and Pincus, Len Downie must have had a busy day last night–and a few stiff drinks when he got home.