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Up To The Minute, CBS Is Asked of Falk's Legal Threat on Raid, BuzzFeed, Photos

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNdisclosed Location, March 24, updated below -- When a legal threat about a mere question raised in a published article is made, from an address, how should one respond?

  If one believes in the right of the Press to raise questions, without being threatened into silence by mega-corporations, one publishes the threat. Then, one writes to the corporation itself, asking how the threat is legitimate.

  The threat was made on March 23 by Pamela Falk of CBS News, who also in January became without competition the president of the UN Correspondents Association. In 2012 this UNCA, now known as the UN's Censorship Alliance, spend most of its meetings trying to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN.

  On February 22 in an on the record meeting, Falk screamed at Inner City Press not to use her name. Then, after she took photographs of the UN's March 18 non-consensual search of Inner City Press' office and photographs appeared on Buzzfeed on March 22, Falk sent a legal threat to Inner City Press to not even question her role.

And so the following is directed to producers of CBSNews' Up To The Minute, and higher in CBS:

This concerns a legal threat sent yesterday by Pamela Falk from It is a cease and desist letter claiming that a question raised in a March 22 article on casts her in a “false light.”

Since the threat came from Ms. Falk's e-mail address, and she apparently reports primarily for Up To The Minute, I'm writing to you.

Is this a threat from CBS News or CBS? Or is it a personal threat from Falk, using her e-mail address? Is it appropriate?

The short background is that the UN on March 18 without notice or consent searched and took photographs in Inner City Press' office at the UN. Pamela Falk also took photographs.

As with the legal threat, it was unclear if Falk was operating for CBSNews or for the UN Correspondents' Association, of which without competition she became president in January. The question was asked at the UN's noon briefing on March 19, but was not answered.

Three photographs of the Inner City Press office appeared in BuzzFeed on March 22, in an article noting the UNCA had sought to get me thrown out of the UN, most recently filing UN complaints for characterizing some correspondents as lapdogs.

(Obviously that term is not actionable. For your information, Inner City Press used the term after a question about 126 rapes by the Congolese Army which the UN supports which Inner City Press asked a half dozen times since November was answered but only on background to hand-picked friendly correspondents who had never asked the question, and who predicably wrote pro-UN accounts.)

A follow up piece on InnerCityPress, also on March 22, asked:

" the raid took place, one stopped and took photographs: Pamela Falk of CBS News.

"Why did she take, and presumptively give to BuzzFeed, photographs from inside Inner City Press' office? She is the president of the UN Correspondents Association, which in 2012 tried to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN.

"If Falk, who Inner City Press witnessed taking pictures, is not the one who gave them to BuzzFeed, then the photos were taken by the UN and given to the anonymous 'Concerned UN Reporter' who did."

The following day Pamela Falk, quoting only the middle of these three paragraphs, wrote:

From: Falk, Pamela
Date: Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 2:28 PM
Subject: Inner City Press
To: Matthew.Lee [at]
Cc: "Falk, Pamela"

Dear Mr. Lee:

On March 22, you published the following statement, referring to me:

Why did she take, and presumptively give to BuzzFeed, photographs from inside Inner City Press' office?”

I did not give photographs to BuzzFeed or to anyone else, and I did not take the photographs that BuzzFeed published.

Please cease and desist from publishing statements which are either inaccurate or cast my actions in a false light.

Pamela Falk

How could it be legal actionable to ask -- ask! -- if Falk who was seen taking photographs might have been involved in passing photographs to BuzzFeed?

Why would CBS, or a CBS reporter, make a legal argument that would cast a legal pall over the most basic of news analysis or rumination in the media? You can't ask questions?

Along with asking that you clarify whether the March 23 legal threat is a legal threat from or condoned by CBS, this is also a request to be informed why and on what basis Falk took photographs of the non-consensual search of Inner City Press' office at the UN on March 18, and what has and will be done with the photographs she took.

During Falk's nine week tenure atop UNCA other problems have occurred, including UNCA “leaders” setting up at least four anonymous social media accounts to try to undermine Inner City Press and the new Free UN Coalition for Access, tearing down and defacing FUNCA flyers.

On February 22 Falk claimed that her lawyers -- apparently, from CBS -- told her that for Inner City Press to contact media organizations like CBS to inquire into their policies could “constitute a crime.”

How can that be true? Are CBS or CBS News lawyers those to whom Falk referred? What will they do now?

Is the above -- and there is more -- reflective of or consistent with the policies of CBS, CBS News and its Up To The Minute?

Watch this site.

Update of 9:45 pm March 24 - how is it possible that a person at "Up to the Minute" simply refers the question back to Pam Falk? Media FAIL. We'll have more on this.

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