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New York Times faces extended ban on Project Veritas coverage

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Nov 23 (Reuters) – A New York trial choose on Tuesday extended a ban maintaining the New York Times from publishing some supplies regarding the conservative activist group Project Veritas, a restriction the newspaper mentioned violated many years of First Amendment protections.

Justice Charles Wood of the Westchester County Supreme Court mentioned his non permanent ban imposed on Nov. 18 will run at the very least till Dec. 1, a deadline for Project Veritas to reply in writing to the Times’ bid to finish it.

The choose granted the extension at a 1-3/4-hour listening to in White Plains, which was a part of a defamation lawsuit that Project Veritas filed towards the Times final yr.

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Project Veritas, led by James O’Keefe, has used what critics view as misleading ways to reveal what it describes as liberal media bias.

It has objected to a Nov. 11 Times article that drew from memos from a Project Veritas lawyer, and presupposed to reveal how the group labored with its legal professionals to “gauge how far its deceptive reporting practices can go before running afoul of federal laws.”

Wood mentioned because the listening to started that the case concerned a conflict between two “bedrock principles” of legislation: “freedom of the speech and freedom of the press, and attorney-client privilege.”

Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha mentioned the newspaper was disillusioned however will press its First Amendment issues. “No libel plaintiffs should be permitted to use their litigation as a tool to silence press coverage about them,” she mentioned.

Project Veritas and its legal professionals didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The group had been suing over a Sept. 2020 Times article describing a video it launched that alleged voter fraud related to the marketing campaign of U.S. congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat.

Dean Baquet, the Times’ govt editor, has mentioned Wood’s Nov. 18 order set a “dangerous precedent,” whereas the newspaper has mentioned courts may discover prior restraints acceptable solely “rarely,” resembling to guard nationwide safety.

Joel Kurtzberg, a lawyer for the Times, informed Wood an extended ban would have broad, unfavourable ramifications for journalists.

“What Project Veritas is seeking here is not about the continued use of information within this litigation, but limiting what journalists report and do outside this litigation,” Kurtzberg mentioned.

Libby Locke, a lawyer for Project Veritas, countered that the Times’ use of memos by the group’s lawyer Benjamin Barr “compromises the uninhibited, robust communication between a client and lawyer.”

Bruce Brown, govt director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, in an announcement known as the extended ban “deeply troubling,” reflecting how prior restraints are “among the most grievous threats to the First Amendment.”

Project Veritas can also be the topic of a Justice Department probe into its attainable position within the theft of a diary from President Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley, pages of which had been printed on National File, a right-wing web site.

The Times had not confronted any prior restraint since 1971, when the Nixon administration unsuccessfully sought to dam the publication of the Pentagon Papers detailing U.S. navy involvement in Vietnam.

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Reporting by Helen Coster in White Plains, New York and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Alistair Bell

A man wearing a protective face mask walks by the New York Times building in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The New York Times building is seen in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A man wearing a protective face mask walks by the New York Times building in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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