Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Awkward moment at Balco reporters' party

Will Harper, who just transferred to the SF Weekly from Village Voice Media's East Bay Express, has the scoop on the newsroom party Chron editor Phil Bronstein threw for reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada (pictured) after the news broke that they wouldn't be going to jail for refusing to reveal their Balco source. Harper reports that they even had a cake depicting the two reporters in jail-stripes.

"It was a back-slappy affair for the most part — until veteran reporter Tom Abate cross-examined the duo, Chron sources say, by asking them about getting 'used' by their source. Cue uncomfortable silence. Williams recalls telling Abate that they had fought 'like wildcats' for eight months not to disclose their sources, and they were not going to now," Harper writes.

Harper goes on to explain how Fainaru-Wada returned to their source, defense attorney Troy Ellerman, to copy more of the grand jury transcript after Ellerman filed a motion asking to have the case dismissed because of leaks, which he blamed on the media. (Photo credit: Brad Mangin, Sports Illustrated)

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