A federal judge ordered Glenn Beck, conservative media host, to identify at least two confidential sources connected to a defamation lawsuit that stemmed from his reporting at the Boston Marathon bombing.
Abdulrahman Alharbi, a Saudi Arabian student, filed the suit. Alharbi was injured during the bombings, but Beck insisted that the student was connected to the attacks even after he was cleared by U.S. officials.
U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris ruled that the conservative media host must disclose the names of two Department of Homeland Security employees in question. The employees reportedly gave Beck’s producer information that supported his claim that Alharbi was the “money” behind the attack.
The judge called the deposition testimony from Joe Weasel, Glenn Beck and Joel Cheatwood “vague” and at times “contradictory,” referring to what the sources said and when. It was also noted that one of the sources spoke directly to Weasel, who claimed to have written the information down on a Post-It note that he discarded.
While the judge acknowledged that forced disclosure of the sources did raise First Amendment concerns, she noted that these concerns could be limited by restricting the distribution of the disclosed information.
At this point in time, it is still unclear as to whether Beck will comply with the disclosure order.