Watergate reporter blasts White House for attack on media

posted at 10:01 am on May 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s difficult to keep up with Scandal-o-Rama these days, isn’t it? Let’s bring in a seasoned hand in analyzing government corruption and intimidation.  Carl Bernstein appeared on Morning Joe earlier today, declaring the conduct of the Obama administration “outrageous,” and their pattern of behavior “a nuclear event” waiting to happen.

So, he’s talking about scrubbing terrorism from the Benghazi talking points and intimidating State Department career staffers, right?  Or is it using the IRS to target political opponents, as in Watergate?  Or seizing the phone records of a major media outlet and searching for the source on a story embarrassing to the White House?

Maybe this doesn’t help much after all (via NRO’s Andrew Johnson):

On Morning Joe today, Carl Bernstein unleashed on the Obama administration in light of news that the Department of Justice obtained the telephone records of Associated Press Reporters, calling it a pattern of behavior that was “waiting to be a nuclear event.”

“This is outrageous, and it is totally inexcusable,” he said. “This administration has been terrible on this subject from the beginning.”

Oh, okay, it’s the AP phone-records seizure that finally has Carl Bernstein exercised.  That figures.  Still, Bernstein doesn’t pull any punches in attacking the White House, and puts the blame all the way to the top:

After host Joe Scarborough pointed out that the Obama administration has prosecuted twice as many leaks as all previous ones combined, Bernstein called out the administration for trying to intimidate both government sources and reporters, dismissing the idea that the White House may not have known what the DOJ was doing. “The idea is to try and make an example of those people who talk to reporters, especially on national-security matters,” he said. “National security is always the false claim of administrations trying to hide things that people ought to know.”

This is less about hiding what has already happened and keeping the AP and other media outlets from working with people in the know for what happens later.  They want potential sources to know that Big Brother will find them regardless of a reporter’s promise to keep their identities confidential.  They want reporters to know that they’re being watched.  The Obama DoJ isn’t interested in justice; they want to impose their political will without effective opposition.

I wonder if the media will start connecting dots between this and Benghazi, and the IRS scandals, and Operation Fast and Furious, and …

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“When the Bush administration was wracked with the leaks of classified information about its counter-terrorism policies, most notably its interrogation and electronic surveillance programs, Democrats in Congress happily took advantage of the information.

Nary a peep was heard about protecting national security and preventing the media from publishing classified information.

But now President Obama has to live in the leak-happy world that he and his colleagues created to undermine the last administration. And they don’t like it. Unlike the Bush administration, however, they are willing to go to lengths that threaten the freedom of the press to stop it — this administration has conducted far more investigations and prosecutions for leaking than its predecessors. And, for the most part, this administration has gotten away with it from the press, which has given them a pass on civil liberties compared to how they treated Republicans.

I deplore the Obama administration’s assault on freedom of the press. But I have no sympathy for the AP or the mainstream media, because this is how you get treated when you are in a politician’s pocket. If the AP’s editors and reporters and their colleagues at other newspapers had been more adversarial toward this President, as they were with President Bush, they would been treated with far more respect. The AP should wish for a return of the days of a Republican administration, which considered the press a worthy adversary, rather than a servant to be mistreated at will…” – John Yoo


workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 11:52 AM

So four dead Americans weren’t enough to get Carl off his fat butt but a shot at the liberal media has him exorcized? Welcome to the club buddy, a bit late aren’t you?

jnelchef on May 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Let’s face it, when push comes to shove, the leftwing media would choose a leftist dictatorship over a Republican victory. They’ll stamp their feet a little to let Obama know he got a little too close on this one but they will go back to sleep on his lap before too long.

jnelchef on May 14, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Welcome to the party pal.

Jack_Burton on May 14, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Fox news just said that Holder has recused himself from the investigation into the phone records seizure. Said it may mean that Holder did not sign off on it.

jffree1 on May 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Knee jerk reaction of a dictator… yawn… His reporter butt-buds don’t mind having their ‘love letters’ spied on.

RalphyBoy on May 14, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Amazing isn’t it, how upset the media gets when it’s their ox being gored.

hachiban on May 14, 2013 at 1:05 PM

the attorney general would have had to sign off on a request to wire tap the ap phones.

2012chuck on May 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM

I don’t recall the GOP treating the press as a “worthy adversary.” The Zombie Press is concerned only the progressive side, because they too are progtards.

I call them the Zombie press because they have less use than a Corpse. At least a corpse can be used for medical research and training. The Press Corpse is utterly useless these days, unless you are a Progtard politician.

Quartermaster on May 14, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Dear Carl,

I have attended many events at which you and/or your colleague – Bob Woodward – have spoken. I’ve been a fan for many years. Sadly, I am left with the sense that your questioning intellect lacks balance in the sense that you are less willing to question those whom you like or whose ideology is one that you perceive as similar to yours.

I expected more. You should have, too.

The signs that the current occupant of the White House and his supporters are all about power – not hope, not change – were there during the first election when there were threats to jail those who said “bad things” about the candidate. You recognized similar abuses of power in 70’s. Unfortunately, you completely missed it this time.

Here’s hoping that the tapping of the AP’s phone lines will lead to your personal reformation. To paraphrase my friend Sam, “there’s no such thing as a bad questions, there are just bad answers.”

And ALL questions should be on the table . . . at all times.


EdmundBurke247 on May 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM

I wonder if the media will start connecting dots between this and Benghazi, and the IRS scandals, and Operation Fast and Furious, and …

No. The MSM created Obama and they will protect their reputations by protecting Obama.

BMF on May 14, 2013 at 4:49 PM

So, Carl’s bull finally got gored.

Barnestormer on May 14, 2013 at 5:01 PM

If the Obama administration is doing this to one of its biggest cheerleaders, I can only imagine what it’s secretly doing to conservative media.

Time for conservative journalists to have face to face meetings with contacts in parks, safe houses, and inside cars with heavily tinted windows in parking lots.

It’s time for PKI to be embedded in phones and emails because you can no longer trust the government–actually, you haven’t been able to trust the government for a long time now.

BMF on May 15, 2013 at 7:34 AM

We should also check if DOJ was tapping SCOTUS too, especially around the time of the Obamacare impossible-to-fathom ruling. This president openly attacked them, so you can probably assume his minions were using the full power of the government to make sure they were one step ahead of deliberations.

I’m not saying this happened, but you have to admit the pattern of intimidation is there.

virgo on May 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM