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As the Daily Caller reports, during the pre-dawn hours of August 6, federal and Maryland law enforcement officials raided the home of Audrey Hudson, an investigative reporter who formerly worked for the Washington Times. Among the items taken were her notes for a story she wrote about how the federal Air Marshall Service had lied to Congress. The notes included names of anonymous sources.
The supposed reason for the raid involves her husband, who in 1986 was found guilty of resisting arrest, which disallows him to own guns. The husband, who works for the Coast Guard, told co-workers that he was a gun collector. The raid was executed by the Coast Guard Investigative Service and Maryland State Troopers. Among the items taken were guns owned by Hudson and her husband. The Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Air Marshall Service are both part of the same department, Homeland Security.
Only later did Hudson learn that her notes were taken. Part of the reason she spoke to the Daily Caller was to alert her sources. “This guy basically came in here,” said Hudson, “and took my anonymous sources and turned them over — took my whistleblowers — and turned it over to the agency they were blowing the whistle on. And these guys still work there.”
Perhaps the true reason for the raid was the guns of Hudson’s husband. But I’m highly suspicious. Regardless, the story is very troubling.
As I’ve noted before, few in the conservative movement are actually breaking new news stories. Instead, as is true with most conservative bloggers, most talk-radio hosts, and most of the primetime anchors on Fox News, we only regurgitate the news that has already been reported—albeit while perhaps adding some opinion and analysis.
I estimate that only a few dozen people are actually breaking news stories that conservatives consider important. Hudson is one of those few dozen. Others include Matt Drudge, the late Andrew Breitbart, Sharyl Attkinson, Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner, Eliana Johnson of the National Review, and Charles Johnson of the Daily Caller.
Another is Katherine Kersten, who is a fellow at the Center of the American Experiment and an occasional writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In my book on media bias I devote a chapter to her and the “experiment” that the Star Tribune conducted to hire a conservative for its newsroom.
The chapter (which is divided into four parts that you can read here, here, here, and here) discusses a story she broke about four imams who boarded a place, acted suspiciously like terrorists (intentionally, I believe), and then were forced to de-board the plane before it departed. Kersten reported that the imams filed a lawsuit against the “John Doe” passengers who reported their suspicious activity. As I document, her efforts led Congress to pass a law shielding the passengers from the lawsuit.
When I interviewed Kersten, she told me that Hudson was one of the first reporters to relay her story to a national audience. Kersten told me how grateful she was to Hudson and how much she admires her.
I noted the following about many of the stories written by Kersten. The same can be said about stories written by Hudson.
One of the most moving tributes that a person can witness is a “missing man” formation of fighter jets, sometimes performed at funerals for fallen military pilots. The jets form an upside-down V, except that in one leg of the V a jet is missing. To observers, it’s easy to imagine where the missing jet would fit. It’s also easy to tell how many jets are missing (namely, one) and what the missing jet would look like if it appeared in the formation (namely, just like the others).
The opposite is true with missing conservative news stories. The stories that I listed in the previous chapter are ones I could find. There surely are many more; however, they don’t get reported because there are so few conservative journalists to report them. It is almost impossible to know how many such missing conservative stories there are, or what those stories would look like if we could see them.
This is one of the reasons the raid on Hudson’s home is so chilling–she’s one of the few people trying to report the missing conservative news stories. I hope she is not intimidated by the raid on her home. And I hope other reporters–and Congress, too–will investigate exactly why the raid occurred.