Media outlets that refuse to participate in an off-the-record meeting with Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder about the Justice Department’s surveillance of journalists surrender their ‘right to gripe’ about the government investigations, according to a Democratic spokesman.
The New York Times announced that it will not send a representative to the meeting. “POTUS asked AG to review how leak investigations are done but some in the media refuse to meet with him,” Democratic Party Communications Director Brad Woodhouse tweeted. “Kind of forfeits your right [to] gripe.”
“[My point is the AG wants to meet as part of his review to fix things,” he added. “How is not attending helping him do so?”
Jill Abramson, the New York Times executive editor, explained why her paper is not participating in the meeting. “It isn’t appropriate for us to attend an off the record meeting with the attorney general,” she said in a statement to Politico. “Our Washington bureau is aggressively covering the department’s handling of leak investigations at this time.”
Abramson added that “evidently, there will be a future session with department officials on the substance of how the law should be applied in leak cases and I am hopeful that our counsel, David McCraw will be able to participate in that meeting.”
Politico’s Dylan Byers reports that the Associated Press has also decided not to attend the meeting.