Chelsea Manning thinks journalists will be targeted, plus cops raid a journalist’s home

May 13, 2019
Category: Newsletters

This is the Poynter Institute’s morning newsletter. To sign up to have it delivered to your inbox, click here.

‘Indictments and charges’

Freshly out of jail, Chelsea Manning said she thinks Trump’s administration will target journalists.

Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who was jailed for her role in government documents released by WikiLeaks, said on Sunday that President Donald Trump “clearly wants to go after journalists.” Manning, released from jail last week, told CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” “I think that if the administration gets its way as it’s laid out in repeated statements — like, ‘the media is the enemy of the people’ kind of thing — you know, then I think that we’re going to see the national security journalists and a lot of disruptive, for this administration, press — we’re probably going to see indictments and charges.”

In 2010, Manning passed along hundreds of thousands of military reports to WikiLeaks. She was convicted of a court-martial in 2013 and sentenced to 35 years, but President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017. In March, a federal judge found her in contempt and ordered her to jail when she refused to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. She may face more jail time if she refuses another subpoena this week to answer questions from a different grand jury regarding WikiLeaks.

Manning told “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter, “Whenever a journalist makes a misstep, I think that they are put on notice now that the FBI and the Department of Justice are going to go after them on the administration’s behalf.”

Senior citizen discount

Someone in their 70s might lack the energy and intellect to effectively lead the free world, Robert Gates said this weekend.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The most interesting comment on any of the Sunday morning news shows came from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who told “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan that someone in their 70s might be too old to be president. President Donald Trump is 72, Bernie Sanders is 77, Joe Biden is 76 and Elizabeth Warren turns 70 next month.

“You don’t have the kind of energy that I think is required to be president,” said Gates, who is 75. “I’m not sure you have the intellectual acuity that you might have had in your 60s. The thought of taking on those responsibilities at this point in my life would be pretty daunting.”

Passings: Mena Mangal

The Afghan journalist was killed this weekend.

Mena Mangal, an Afghan journalist and political advisor who stood up for women’s rights, was shot and killed over the weekend, just days after saying she believed her life was in danger. Mangal was killed on Saturday while she was on her way to work in Kabul. It is not known who shot her.

Wazhma Frogh, an Afghan attorney who also was active in women’s rights, tweeted:

“This woman had already shared that her life was in danger. Why did nothing happen? We need answers.”

‘Some journalism is just sucking’

Soledad O’Brien fired off an impassioned response to a CNN analyst critical of the state of the media.

Soledad O’Brien. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Julian Zelizer, CNN political analyst and professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, on Sunday tweeted:

“One of the dangers for our democracy is that we become numb to the misuse of power, where a real ‘crisis’ becomes one more passing breaking news story. We move on to the next story when we see our Watergate because we assume the system is broken.”

In response, longtime journalist Soledad O’Brien responded with this tweet:

“ ‘We’ move onto the next story because cable news does. Stories get momentum when you sit, and stay and report and dig and don’t chase every headline: ‘Trump has a new nickname for …’ Some journalism is just sucking and we know who they are.”

They came back with a warrant

Police in San Francisco raid a journalist’s home, allegedly to hunt down a source he refused to disclose.

San Francisco police raided the home and office of a freelance journalist in search of confidential police report that contained the salacious details about the death of a public defender. The journalist, Bryan Carmody, had obtained a copy of the report from an unknown source and had sold information from that report to the media.

Two weeks ago, Carmody refused to give up his source when asked by police. The police, after obtaining a search warrant, found the leaked report in Carmody’s office last Friday, but Carmody said the identity of who leaked the report remains confidential.

Carmody told The Washington Post that police started to use a sledgehammer to break down his door before he let them in. He was then placed in handcuffs while they conducted their search. He told the Post, “They treated my like I was some kind of drug dealer.”

A police spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle that the warrant was granted by a judge and that the raid on Carmody’s home and office was “part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the leak” of the report.

There does seem to be more to the story. The public defender reportedly died while with a woman who was not his wife. But apparently there were tensions between the police and the public defender and the leaked report made the public defender look bad.

“I had no beef with him,” Carmody said. “I had no beef with anyone. I’m just a journalist in the middle of this.”

Tip of the cap

Politico’s Michael Calderone ends his popular media newsletter.

Those of us who love reading about the media are sad to hear that Politico’s Michael Calderone has decided to end his top-notch Morning Media daily newsletter. Calderone wrote Friday in announcing the news that he will be focusing more on media pieces for Politico and will have occasional special-edition newsletters pegged to big political media moments.

Hot type

A curated list of great journalism and intriguing media.

Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at

Want to get this briefing in your inbox? Sign up here.

Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.