Justice Department officials began reaching out Wednesday to the Washington bureau chiefs of major media organizations seeking their attendance at an off-the-record discussion with Attorney General Eric Holder about DOJ practices for investigating national security leaks. When big-time news organizations like the Associated Press, New York Times and CNN began announcing they would not attend the meeting unless it was on the record, Democrats went on the attack.
“POTUS asked AG to review how leak investigations are done but some in the media refuse to meet with him. Kind of forfeits your right to gripe,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse tweeted. To which National Journal’s Ron Fournier responded, “To answer your question, media happy to attend. On the record. We are not his confessors and advisers.”
If Holder had invited the Washington bureau chiefs of the major media organizations to an off-the-record meeting to discuss DOJ guidelines concerning national security leaks before the Associated Press and Fox News investigations were reported, odds are good everyone would have attended, and nobody outside the press would have ever learned about the event.
Now that the DOJ has been caught red-handed snooping through reporter email and phone records, and Holder himself has been, at best, less than forthcoming about his role in the investigations, the Washington press corps is less interested in playing ball.
The next question, however, is how long will this suddenly rediscovered independence among Obama’s most devoted boosters last?
From The Washington Examiner
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The Wall Street Journal, Mortgage-relief plan is extended: The Obama administration is set to announce Thursday that its signature consumer-mortgage modification initiative, due to expire at the end of the year, will be extended for two more years.
The Washington Post, Obama plans to nominate Comey as FBI director: The former official in the George W. Bush administration would replace Robert S. Mueller III and was chosen over counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.
The Washington Post, Sequester not biting District yet: In the months since the automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester took effect, the Washington area has added 40,000 jobs. Income-tax receipts have surged in Virginia, beating expectations. Few government contractors have laid off workers.
The Hollywood Reporter: MSNBC falls below HLN in May, Rachel Maddow hits lows Averaging 539,000 viewers in primetime and 175,000 viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic, MSNBC suffered double-digit drops from last May — down a respective 20 and 19 percent.
The New York Times, Travels of the President under a microscope in an era of belt tightening: Perhaps it is nothing more than an accident of timing that as federal workers brace for a summer filled with unpaid furlough days, their leaders are traveling the nation and globe on trips that exude luxury.
Joe Muto says he was a liberal mole at Fox News headquarters.
Think Progress promotes an op-ed by an Oklahoma Republican decrying Republican inflexibility on abortion and contraception.
Kevin Drum defends Eric Holder’s Fox News investigation.
Sarah Kliff reports that Obamacare is in trouble in New Hampshire.
Neil Irwin explains why Fed efforts to keep the economy afloat are problematic.
Eliana Johnson on Ted Cruz’s keynote speech at the New York State Republican party’s annual dinner.
Chris Edwards notes the farm bill would increase spending 47 percent.
Yuval Levin on health care costs and the budget.
Abby McCloskey on why rising home prices should worry you.
Terry Jeffrey reports that a record 72.6 million Americans are on Medicaid. That outnumbers the populations of France and the United Kingdom.
Stanley Kurtz says conservatives predicted the IRS scandal.