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white noise

by Jordan Green

News and views from inside the media bubble

BAD BLOOD

A March 17 Cleveland Plain Dealer blog post reports that one of the newspapers’ reporters, Gabriel Baird, will not be jailed for refusing to reveal his source for a psychiatric evaluation of a suspected serial killer named Anthony Sowell. A hearing was held on the matter by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Shirley Strickland Saffold. The evening before the hearing, Common Pleas Judge Timothy McGinty reported called Saffold, mooting the need to pry the information from Baird. A video posted of the hearing by the Plain Dealer suggests that the judge has a strained history with the newspaper as she details her history with another of the newspaper’s reporters, James Ewinger. Judge Saffold says from the bench: “I am additionally concerned — and I indicated to counsel for Mr. Baird — about the story that was printed this morning, which was basically a smear story directed at this court, probably and obviously intended to intimidate this court so that the court could not proceed in a judicial manner in handling this matter. Let me assure everybody, especially those members of the Plain Dealer that in 1993, I met with Mr. Ewinger, who happens to be here today. He and I have never gotten along. We’ve never, ever had a good relationship. And in 2000 I appeared at an endorsement proceeding with the Plain Delaer where I was almost physically attacked by Mr. Ewinger. Brent Larkin had to separate us. I remained seated as he advanced towards me. I was satisfied with how they handled that situation, at least I thought I was. I noticed that many of the articles, which were cited in the article today were written by Mr. Ewinger. And so now the paper is giving credence to the same person who attacked me in an endorsement proceeding and became enraged.” — JG

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