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Major Media Companies Join Mark Boal in His First Amendment Fight Against the Government

The case concerns Boal's recorded interviews with Bowe Bergdahl.


Mark Boal’s lawsuit against the United States Government now has several prominent backers. ABC, CNN, Fox News, NPR, NBCUniversal and the Washington Post are among 36 journalism groups, nonprofits and other media companies supporting the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty” in his First Amendment case.

READ MORE: Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal Re-Team with Annapurna Pictures for Untitled Detroit Riots Drama

The suit concerns Boal’s interviews with Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. Army soldier whose controversial desertion case inspired the second season of “Serial” and an upcoming film Boal is writing for Kathryn Bigelow, who also directed “Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” Boal is fighting against prosecutors seeking to obtain the roughly 25 hours of interviews he conducted with Bergdahl.

READ MORE: ’Zero Dark Thirty’ Screenwriter Mark Boal Sues U.S. Government Over Bowe Bergdahl ‘Serial’ Interviews

Katie Townsend of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which is likewise backing Boal, said it is ” important not just to establish that Boal, specifically, is entitled to protection, but because as the definition of what constitutes journalism and what form it takes continues to advance at a rapid pace, established protections for journalists must continue to evolve to encompass a wide variety of forms and formats.”

Boal himself called the groups backing him “a dream team of media — from across the political spectrum. When was the last time Fox and NPR agreed on an issue? I’m honored to have their support.”

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This article reminded me of the Vice piece I watched today explaining the blackout media state that Belarus has been in for some time. It’s very comforting to see these major media groups backing Boal in this fight given the slippery slope nature of censorship. I would even argue that Twitter’s recent stance on censoring tweets and suspending users indefinitely is both alarming and concerning. The forefathers of this country understood the importance of absolute freedom of speech so much they made it our very first amendment. I’ve heard people in the media and government comparing the current state of the Internet as “‘The Wild West’ and I can’t help but see this type of labeling as a possible ploy to soften and coerce us into giving them even more control. A more appropriate term would be ‘Open and Free’, and we should fight like hell to keep it that way.

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