Choreographing The News On The DOJ’s AP Investigation With Media Matters

All The News We'll Allow You To Print.
All The News We’ll Allow You To Print.

“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know,” Pruitt said.


(HT: The Associated Press)

While the ORS* busies itself with the deliberate political harassment of Barack Obama’s political opponents, his Department of Justice seems to be busily engaged in doing similar things to members of the previously untouchable 4th Estate. Some of these previously loyal Professional Democratic Party Activists with press credentials have the utter effrontery to have gotten their backs up. Jake Tapper sticks it to Jay Carney in the exchange below.

Jake Tapper, the senior White House correspondent for ABC News, asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney how public support of those journalists’ work “square[s] with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistleblowers to court. There just seems to be a disconnect here,” Tapper added. “You want aggressive journalism abroad; you just don’t want it in the United States.”

(HT: Huffington Post)

As the vassals of Barack Obama busily minding the 4th Estate threaten to go rogue and commit spontaneous acts of professional reportage, the alarm claxon sounds and the highly trained manipulators of Media Matters man the trebuchets in defense of the empire. They tell us all what key issues must be raised. A discussion can’t flow freely – it must be channelized in the manner suggested below.

• If the press compromised active counter-terror operations for a story that only tipped off the terrorists, that sounds like it should be investigated.
• It was not acceptable when the Bush Administration exposed Valerie Plame working undercover to stop terrorists from attacking us. It is not acceptable when anonymous sources do it either.
• Is this story about a government source blowing the whistle on government misbehavior, or about a source gratuitously exposing ongoing counter-terrorism operations?
• Did Republicans in Congress who are now exploiting the situation to score political points oppose the media shield law that likely would have protected the Associated Press in this situation?
• How should the Justice Department strike the balance between respecting our free press and investigating damaging leaks that jeopardize counter-terrorism operations?


These things are all fine and dandy. The first point suggest that the press should actually aid and abet the efforts of our national security apparatus rather than being an invaluable gold mine for enemy intelligence analysts. I still don’t see where this gives Eric Holder causus bellum to completely abrogate the typical rules governing subpoena use in order to read the phone logs of 20 different AP phone lines. Back before GWB’s 3rd and 4th terms, there were significant objections being raised to all the wire-tapping going on.

Oops, I seem to have gotten confused. I forgot Poor President Passerby and assumed GWB was still getting reelected. When Dana Milbank criticizes a President, there has to be a Republican in the office. It’s just about a law of physics. Also, there’s the insistence by Media Matters that we talk about Valerie Plame. With George W. Bush still in office, she could be almost, but not quite, as relevant as Cindy Sheehan.**

I could go on. Media Matters certainly does. The fit seems to have hit the shan for these people. They are having a very hard time figuring out what to think. When they can’t figure out what to think it challenges their abilities to dictate to the rest of us what we can be allowed to think.*** To make a long story short, that napalm they smelled this morning was not the smell of victory. It made them afraid; very afraid, that the media could actually matter when it came to investigate the ongoing iniquity and disregard for fundamental injustice that characterizes Barack Obama’s entire presidential administration.


*-The name change from IRS isn’t official just yet, but it might as well be.
**-OK, so that wasn’t quite as World of Dorkcraft as a 1980’s reference.
***-Ya’ think?


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