WaPo editor set to cave on Holder’s demand for off-the-record meeting on leak investigations?

posted at 7:21 pm on May 29, 2013 by Allahpundit

Embarrassing. The Huffington Post, an overtly liberal outfit, claims it’ll join the Times in boycotting the meeting, and yet Washington’s paper of record can’t similarly muster the will to resist the DOJ’s surreal demand for opacity while discussing transparency?

Kudos to WaPo’s Erik Wemple for reporting this out, knowing that he’s not endearing himself to his boss in doing so:

Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, said, “I prefer that any meeting be on the record. That said, journalists routinely participate in off-the-record sessions, whether they prefer those conditions or not, and then continue to report on events. I am going to this meeting in order to represent our interests as journalists and to raise our concerns. I’ll also listen to what the Attorney General has to say. I trust that our journalists will report on this as vigorously as they would any other subject.”…

Ryan Grim, the Washington bureau chief of the Huffington Post, said, “Off-the-record would not fly. … I don’t need to go in there with a tape recorder and wiretap the meeting. But I imagine I’m free to talk about what’s said in there.”…

What will likely happen here is a classic and most absurd game: Attendees at the meeting — both media reps and Justice Department officials — will give rundowns to reporters who were not in attendance, likely on background (i.e., for publication but without their names attached). News pieces will be pieced together on such sourcing. The low point: Reporters could well end up quoting their own bosses as “sources.” A total embarrassment, in other words.

An official in the Most Transparent Justice Department Evah told Wemple that they want the meetings off the record because, quote, “This format will best facilitate the candid, free-flowing discussions we hope to have in order to bring about meaningful engagement.” I’m curious to know which “candid” remarks Holder feels comfortable making with the digital recorders switched off but not on. Is his big charm offensive designed to make amends to the media or to the public? There’s been lots of lip service paid over the past few weeks about the public’s right to know what its government is up to; the deeper injury in the Rosen/AP probes supposedly isn’t to the media itself but to the public’s ability to hold its elected officials accountable. If Holder “regrets” how those probes were handled, then his remorse should be expressed to the public at large. By calling for an off-the-record meeting, he’s indicating that he sees this as more between him and the journalistic guild than between him and the public. It’s uncomfortably clubby, as if he’s trying to schmooze the editors with an intimate apology that flatters their egos rather than articulate the Department’s policy going forward. And it makes perfect sense if you assume that his real goal here isn’t to revamp the DOJ’s protocols for investigating leaks but rather to grovel to the point that the media backs off him before the “Holder must go” meme starts to take hold among the wider public. These meetings are all about shaping elite opinion, which in turn will shape public opinion. And the way to influence elites is to flatter them with special access. O prizes secrecy, but he’s willing to include big-media editors in that secrecy if it gets them to ease up on him.

Exit question via Michael Gerson: Why does Holder still have a job?

Update: The AP’s out.

“We believe the meeting should be on the record and we have said that to the Attorney General’s office. If it is on the record, AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll will attend. If it is not on the record, AP will not attend and instead will offer our views on how the regulations should be updated in an open letter,” AP spokesperson Erin Madigan said in a statement sent to POLITICO. “We would expect AP attorneys to be included in any planned meetings between the Attorney General’s office and media lawyers on the legal specifics.”


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Comments

They’re probably haggling over the price…

BigWyo on May 29, 2013 at 7:23 PM

WaPo gone limp…

geojed on May 29, 2013 at 7:24 PM

idiot lap dogs…

cmsinaz on May 29, 2013 at 7:24 PM

…and if you sorry pri*ks did your job in the first place, none of this crap would be happening…

BigWyo on May 29, 2013 at 7:24 PM

…and if you sorry pri*ks did your job in the first place, none of this crap would be happening…

BigWyo on May 29, 2013 at 7:24 PM

THIS
x infinity

cmsinaz on May 29, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Only as strong as the weakest link.

WaPo outs itself as the weak one.

portlandon on May 29, 2013 at 7:26 PM

They’re probably haggling over the price…

The amazing part isn’t that they sell themselves, it’s that they sell themselves so cheaply.

myiq2xu on May 29, 2013 at 7:26 PM

When you’ve already been given cover by The New York Times not to go to the meeting, and everyone already knows about it and will be demanding the Post not shield Holder from explaining himself, you really have to have a special level of lap-doggedness if you agree to the ground rules of this get-together.

jon1979 on May 29, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Let me make a wild guess:

FOX News was NOT invited.

Am I right?

Freddy on May 29, 2013 at 7:31 PM

The ObamaMedia will gladly attend this affair to keep the President’s spin cycle running smoothly. Welcome to the USSR.

Rovin on May 29, 2013 at 7:31 PM

WaPo, the nation’s lap dog.

JimK on May 29, 2013 at 7:31 PM

It’s uncomfortably clubby, as if he’s trying to schmooze the editors with an intimate apology that flatters their egos rather than articulate the Department’s policy going forward.

Of course Holder is going to schmooze them. And the ‘liberal elite intelligentsia’ will go right along with it.

Can Holder perform weddings? He might as well marry the MSM and the Obama Administration while he’s at it.

Maybe Barry will then stop treating the MSM like whores.

GarandFan on May 29, 2013 at 7:33 PM

The low point: Reporters could well end up quoting their own bosses as “sources.” A total embarrassment, in other words.

So it’s status quo at the wapo then?

Lost in Jersey on May 29, 2013 at 7:33 PM

The slime coming from this administration is just amazing.

This off the record crap is just that crap.

gophergirl on May 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Not going to be a lot of people in that room.

dirtseller on May 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Freddy on May 29, 2013 at 7:31 PM

actually bret bair did say that fox news will be there…i’m surprise they didn’t decline…

cmsinaz on May 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Why does Holder still have a job?

Because we now live in a Banana Republic without the warm tropical breeze…

… It’s ‘paradise‘, isn’t it?

Seven Percent Solution on May 29, 2013 at 7:41 PM

well jonathan capehart did just attend the wh pow-wow so its all good
/

cmsinaz on May 29, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Seven Percent Solution on May 29, 2013 at 7:41 PM

*clink*
boy do we need it today

cmsinaz on May 29, 2013 at 7:42 PM

*clink*

boy do we need it today

cmsinaz on May 29, 2013 at 7:42 PM

*clinky!*

See you on the beach…

:)

/

Seven Percent Solution on May 29, 2013 at 7:45 PM

“We would expect AP attorneys to be included in any planned meetings between the Attorney General’s office and media lawyers on the legal specifics.”

Look at them being all tough and everything.

Cindy Munford on May 29, 2013 at 7:46 PM

WaPo editor set to cave SWALLOW on Holder’s demand for off-the-record meeting on leak investigations?

KOOLAID2 on May 29, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Behind closed doors Holder can reveal his DOJ has been tapping their phones for five years and has the goods on all of them. Either start kissing our rings again or we will expose your cheating affairs.

Doin it Chicago style.

fogw on May 29, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Maybe there are wapo emails and phone calls.

Leverage.

wolly4321 on May 29, 2013 at 7:48 PM

I’m curious to know which “candid” remarks Holder feels comfortable making with the digital recorders switched off but not on.

Ummm…things like :
” I have your wife and children in my custody and you will all do and say what I tell you to do and say ”
or maybe :
” I’ll give your teenage daughters to the if you even think about thinking on ” reporting” against me ”
???
Who knows, the guy is a sociopath !!

burrata on May 29, 2013 at 7:48 PM

I’m curious to know which “candid” remarks Holder feels comfortable making with the digital recorders switched off but not on.

Ummm…things like :
” I have your wife and children in my custody and you will all do and say what I tell you to do and say ”
or maybe :
” I’ll give your teenage daughters to moozies if you even think about thinking on ” reporting” against me ”
???
Who knows, the guy is a sociopath !!

burrata on May 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Hitler was an Obama fan.

CW on May 29, 2013 at 7:52 PM

actually bret bair did say that fox news will be there…i’m surprise they didn’t decline…

cmsinaz on May 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Juan Williams, Alan Colmes, Bob Beckel and Tamryn Holder will be attending for Fox.

Kristen Powers likely declined.

Myron Falwell on May 29, 2013 at 7:52 PM

i bet mika and joe would go in a heart beat…

cmsinaz on May 29, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Myron Falwell on May 29, 2013 at 7:52 PM

probably

cmsinaz on May 29, 2013 at 7:53 PM

burrata on May 29, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Nah, these people are true believers.

This is now dictators rise to power. These “reporters” don’t believe in any laws just protecting the “dear leader”.

tetriskid on May 29, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Surprised WaPo has time for a meeting, since I’m sure they’re busy gearing up to cheer McAuliffe on during the VA gubernatorial campaign.

And sorry, I just don’t care if the AP et al decline to participate. They’ve carried this admin’s water, and Dem water in general, for too long, so their protests now mean squat. Lie with dogs, don’t be surprised if you get fleas.

changer1701 on May 29, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Eh, WaPo gives the Pyongyang Daily a run for its money in the category of “paper most likely to suck the crack of the leader”; their willingness to grovel is hardly surprising.

Bishop on May 29, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, said, “I prefer that any meeting be on the record. That said, journalists routinely participate in off-the-record sessions, whether they prefer those conditions or not, and then continue to report on events.

Whenever someone employs the term “that said”, it’s almost guaranteed that what follows is a lie.

Especially from a toady poodle like Martin Baron. WaPo that took down Nixon and is now proping up Obama. Shameful.

Curtiss on May 29, 2013 at 8:15 PM

i bet mika and joe would go in a heart beat…

cmsinaz on May 29, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Like groupies backstage at a rock concert.

Curtiss on May 29, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Exit question via Michael Gerson: Why does Holder still have a job?

Cause he’s a bro. Even an idiot media lapdog like Gerson should be able to figure that one.

bw222 on May 29, 2013 at 8:19 PM

the Huffington Post is left-wing, but it has higher ethical standards than the alphabet networks.

bw222 on May 29, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Maybe they are serving Twinkies.

katy the mean old lady on May 29, 2013 at 8:27 PM

The only thing that would make the media turn on 0bama would be a direct threat from 0bama to the future of the Democrat Party. This already seems to be happening.

Sekhmet on May 29, 2013 at 8:30 PM

These “reporters” don’t believe in any laws just protecting the “dear leader”.

tetriskid on May 29, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Maybe when it’s off -the-record ,
the lapdoggies will feel comfortable telling Holder where to find their daughters , to be picked up by Department of Jihad goons , and delivered to moozies .
This is what these people are.

burrata on May 29, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Sorry to sound a little naive at how the lapdogs work, but is there any legal precedent for say the AP to say “Oh sure, it’s off the record” and then surreptitiously record it anyway and release it (or barring that if recording without consent is illegal in the state where it takes place, transcribing/writing about it and releasing it)?

Sure, it’d incur the wrath of The Messiah and his cabal, but to me that ship has long sailed. These assclowns think they’re above the law or any rules; use their own tactics against them and expose them for what they are.

Phoenix7 on May 29, 2013 at 8:52 PM

“Off the record” meetings.

Better known as “choir practice”.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on May 29, 2013 at 9:01 PM

…and if you sorry pri*ks did your job in the first place, none of this crap would be happening…

BigWyo on May 29, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Agreed..

celt on May 29, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Is FNC going to be attending? Does anybody know?

vpaddy123 on May 29, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Will the Picayune Item be invited or is this only a meeting with MSM outfits?

HuffPo received an invite, did Breitbart?

I don’t recall there being an election for a board of Journalism, yet those who are invited are supposedly representing the interests of the media. Hogwash. This needs to be open to the public,

weaselyone on May 29, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Send In The Clowns.

pat on May 30, 2013 at 1:58 AM

Like a scene in the “Sound of Music”. Some little nazi shows up demanding the flag be flown at the house and that everyone wheres nazi armbands.

The scum that pass for journalists today don’t even need a threat. They just turn in their family and friends for 30 peices of silver and a table at the journalist press dinner.

acyl72 on May 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Like a scene in the “Sound of Music”. Some little nazi shows up demanding the flag be flown at the house and that everyone wearwheres nazi armbands.

The scum that pass for journalists today don’t even need a threat. They just turn in their family and friends for 30 peices of silver and a table at the journalist press dinner.

acyl72 on May 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM

acyl72 on May 30, 2013 at 8:01 AM

Time for bayam and hotairlib to give us a lecture on how this vile corruption is Bush’s and the republican’s fault.

acyl72 on May 30, 2013 at 8:02 AM