Too dumb to check: Holder’s huddle with media on press freedoms will be … off the record; Update: NYT to boycott; Update: DNC spokesman whines at NYT

posted at 4:41 pm on May 29, 2013 by Allahpundit

Gut-check time for the press: If they’re truly offended by the DOJ’s secret snooping on James Rosen and the AP, they won’t agree to attend Holder’s gladhanding session unless/until he agrees to make it on the record, right? Press freedom and government transparency are either important or they’re not. If they’re not, then yeah, an off-the-record session in which the powers that be privately assure a guild that they’re on their side will do just fine. Happens all the time in the Obama White House.

Which is it?

The news of a meeting between Holder and the bureau chiefs comes amid widespread criticism from journalists and civil liberties advocates over the DOJ’s seizure of Associated Press phone records and an accusation that Fox News reporter James Rosen could be part of a criminal conspiracy for his reporting.

The fact that Holder is meeting with the bureau chiefs is on the record, but Nanda Chitre, acting director of the DOJ’s public affairs office, confirmed to The Huffington Post that the meeting itself will be off the record. Media organizations, however, will surely want such a newsworthy meeting with the attorney general to be on the record, and it remains to be seen if they will agree to meet under off-the-record ground rules.

How many off-the-record, on-the-QT, and very-hush-hush meetings have Obama or his lieutenants scheduled with favored members of the media lately? There was the one with the White House press corps on May 10 to talk about the IRS scandal that began as off-the-record but ended up as “deep background” after people started murmuring about it on Twitter. There was the instantly-infamous one on May 21 in which online Obama-water-carrying glitterati were called in for a consultation on Scandalmania. There was another one last Thursday with foreign-policy reporters after O’s big speech in which he tried to B.S. them about his drone policy having changed when, evidently, it really hadn’t. And now here’s Holder, willing to talk to the press about how sorry-ish he is for rifling through their phone records and e-mails in pursuit of leakers but not willing to do it in a forum where anyone outside the room will know what he said. Free idea for the media: Why not insist on a televised Holder press conference instead? This whole “remorse” shtick is pure theatrical garbage designed to save his job. If he’s determined to perform, make him perform in front of an audience. Let’s see what sort of crocodile tears he can muster when the camera’s on.

Via the Standard, here’s Jay Carney politely ducking the question of whether Holder perjured himself before the House committee.

Update: The irony is too much for the Times.

Update: The chief flack for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s DNC wishes you to know that it’s the Times’s fault for not accepting a private audience with his unaccountable holiness, Eric Holder.

Update: Thanks to Woodhouse, Holder’s (and Obama’s) headache is getting worse…

Update: Here’s another reason to want the meeting on the record: It puts pressure on reporters in the room to be tougher too.

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WHAT?! Journalists don’t want to attend a ‘Beer Summit’ with Holder?!

(“You don’t HAVE to come; however, a representative from the IRS and Wire-Tapping department within the DOJ will be taking attendance. Just saying…”)

easyt65 on May 30, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Perhaps the media should take an oath to follow the rules of the meet (corrollary: Holder and the Constitution) and then break the rules and publish everything about the meet.

Carnac on May 30, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Eric Holder hints at a new career, once ousted from his current position as Obama’s AG. Holder says a music career is in the making. Holder plans to release his first CD based on the musical stylings of Henry Rollins. Holders new release will feature a cover of Rollins big hit Liar. Have a look and listen.

Bmore on May 30, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Just went over to HuffPo to see how they are taking this:

You rightists have such convenient memories. Let me be your Aricept:

The dismissal of U.S. Attorneys controversy was initiated by the unprecedented midterm dismissal of seven US Attorneys on December 7, 2006, by the George W. Bush administration’s Department of Justice.

I notice only HP is still obsessing over these stories. All other news outlets seemed to have moved on to focusing on other issues with this one down the list a bit even on Foxnews right now.

The reason – because it has no legs and appears to be yet another attempt to malign the President and his DOJ for political purposes.

The prominent leak investigation during the Bush years involved disclosure in 2003 of the secret C.I.A. employment of Valerie Wilson, a covert agency officer.

These people are still living in the last decade. Unreal.

Del Dolemonte on May 29, 2013 at 6:10 PM

That’s the reason they are called libtards.

There’s a small gang of them harassing, outshouting, and using Alinksy tactics on any conservative poster on our local newspaper. They remind me of a pack of wolves, with their characteristic liberal arguments…. typical Debbie Wasserman-Schultz statements…..dumb, unfounded, and totally hypocritical.

avagreen on May 30, 2013 at 11:04 AM

eh, curiosity will get the better of them. They can’t resist a good story. Besides, Holder betrayed them why not put it all on the record anyway after the meeting.

jake49 on May 30, 2013 at 11:10 AM

He is responsible for DESPICABLE degeneration of ethics if not never having had any to degenerate in the first place. And all this, he jokes about, laughs it up, plays ball and grins.

Lourdes on May 29, 2013 at 8:06 PM

I’m sure this isn’t original with me, but of late I’ve come to the opinion that O is just merely the official fundraiser so that president Jarrett can have the $$ she needs to run the country……as that seems the only thing he can do with any success. Smile that fake Hollywood Howdy Doody smile, read the prepared speeches written for him (don’t see the actual strings attached to his arms, but I’m sure they are there), make phony promises from the prepared speech, shakes hands, and then goes off to play golf. Probably eats the dog biscuits that are thrown for him as he runs loose on the course.

avagreen on May 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Even eunichs show a pair
Once a year

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 6:19 PM

I think the correct expression is “even eunichs still have to take a piss sometime”.

Nutstuyu on May 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Update: The chief flack for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s DNC newly hired CNN “reporterette” wishes you to know that it’s the Times’s fault for not accepting a private audience with his unaccountable holiness, Eric Holder.


neyney on May 30, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Del Dolemonte on May 29, 2013 at 6:10 PM
Yes the Leftists has selective memories. Anyway, Clinton fired all but one US attorney, which are political appointees, and no one complained that I remember. It is not unusual for presidents to do so. But not OK for Bush to do so. That’s why I no longer try to reason with progressives.

amr on May 30, 2013 at 4:25 PM