The judge in Donald Trump's lawsuit against the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino ordered the real estate and reality TV magnate's legal team to reveal the name of the reporter to whom it leaked information on the civil case.
It really shouldn't have been such a difficult deduction for Streitfeld. The judge was angry about a July 14 Sentinel story that revealed that Trump's lawyers planned to subpoena Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne to testify in the civil case. There were two bylines on the story, that of court reporter Paula McMahon and colleague Sally Kestin.
The judge's order has already begun to ripple through the South Florida reporting corps -- and it has generally been met with anger and consternation. "I don't want to have to worry in the future that some judge can order the attorneys to reveal the reporter's name they spoke with," one told the Pulp.
A phone call to McMahon has so far gone unanswered and the Sentinel has yet to post a story on the hearing in its on-line edition. The Miami Herald's Roberto Santiago posted this brief story on the Herald site regarding the judge's action.
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As a result of Streitfeld's ire over the leak, Trump's lawyers withdrew Jenne's subpoena.
[For latest info, see "Trumped-Up Tempest"]
UPDATED: Trump's lawyers gave up Paula McMahon's name, I've heard. Said one South Florida journo, "Reporters won't give up their sources, so why do attorneys think it's okay to give up reporters?" Hmm. Good question. Maybe it's because lawyers don't really give a damn about reporters unless they're fulfilling their agenda.
But then again, reporters generally don't demand anonymity and their bylines usually tell on them anyway. And that's one thing that makes this judge's order so ludicrous.