William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal
Media Misbehavior and the Wages of Sin: The Constitutionality of Consequential Damages for Publication of Ill-Gotten Information
Driven by competitive forces and enabled by technological advances such as hidden cameras, the media have become increasingly intrusive in their newsgathering techniques. Claims against the media for unlawful acts such as invasion of privacy, trespass, and fraud highlight the severe tension existing between the rights of the victims of media misconduct and the principles of the First Amendment. The authors contend that by acting unlawfully in their newsgathering, the media forfeit First Amendment protection. They emphasize that the newsworthiness of the information unlawfully obtained by the media should not be considered when determining liability, and conclude that the media should be held liable for all damages, including consequential damages, that arise from their tortious or unlawful acts.