So what is it?
A Palm Beach County judge yesterday gave a ruling on whether The Palm Beach County State Attorney's office can speak to talk show host Rush Limbaugh's doctors and open his medical records. For almost two years Mr. Limbaugh has been the subject of an investigation to determine whether he has been doctor shopping to get pain killers.
What's interesting is the difference in reporting on this story. James Joyner does a detailed post at OTB. I recommend you read this excellent post. James compares how AP and other major national news services are reporting the story in contrast to other media outlets including the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel.
I'll just add to what James did by contrasting AP and The Palm Beach Post. The liberal Post is no fan of Limbaugh.
Here is AP-
Prosecutors can subpoena Rush Limbaugh's doctors as part of an investigation into whether the conservative radio commentator illegally bought painkillers, a judge ruled Monday. Judge David F. Crow ruled that Florida laws do not prevent doctors from talking with prosecutors if the discussion is relevant to the prosecution of a crime.
The decision gave prosecutors permission to subpoena doctors and their staff, but it also protected confidential material in Limbaugh's medical records. The judge noted that Florida law prohibits the discussion of a patient's medical condition and information disclosed by a patient during treatment.
Prosecutors and an attorney for Limbaugh both said they benefited from the ruling. "The court allowed us to proceed, within the constraints of present law," said Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the state attorney in Palm Beach County.Roy Black, Rush Limbaugh's attorney, said in a statement that the decision upheld "our argument that the state cannot breach doctor-patient confidentiality just because it has obtained some medical records," Black said.
Here is the Palm Beach Post-
WEST PALM BEACH — Prosecutors investigating Rush Limbaugh for alleged doctor-shopping can question his physicians, a judge ruled Monday, ending months of legal delays over that issue.
But they can't ask the doctors much, at least at this stage of the investigation, Circuit Judge David Crow decided.
Crow granted Assistant State Attorney James Martz's request to question Limbaugh's medical providers. But Crow narrowly limited Martz, allowing no questions about Limbaugh's medical condition or what Limbaugh disclosed to his doctor while in treatment.
Limbaugh's attorney, Roy Black, released a statement saying the ruling upheld a patient's statutory right of doctor-patient confidentiality.
"We've said from the start that there was no doctor shopping but Mr. Limbaugh should not have to give up his right to doctor-patient confidentiality to prove his innocence," the statement said.
Crow wrote at length in his order, though, that the doctor-patient relationship does not have the same privilege of confidentiality that an attorney and client have under the law. A doctor could be asked specific questions about medical conditions if compelled at a hearing, deposition or trial, Crow wrote.
Big difference isn't it. As so often happens with the MSM today you're left begging the question in the title of my post.
So what is it?
Open Post- Is it just me?, Third World County, Right Wing Nation,