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Thread: Inside the AP: Fear, Determination

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    Inside the AP: Fear, Determination

    Reporters across The Associated Press are outraged over the Justice Department’s sweeping seizure of staff phone records — and they say such an intrusion could chill their relationships with confidential sources.

    In conversations with POLITICO on Tuesday, several AP staffers in Washington, D.C., described feelings of anger and frustration with the DOJ and with the Obama administration in general.

    “People are pretty mad — mad that government has not taken what we do seriously,” one reporter said on Tuesday. “When the news broke yesterday … people were outraged and disgusted. No one was yelling and screaming, but it was like, ‘Are you kidding me!?’”

    “People are ticked,” said another. “Everyone supports the reporters involved.”

    The behind-the-scenes anger — and heads-down determination of the AP staff members to keep doing their jobs amid the extraordinary public flap — comes as top executives from the wire service have mounted an aggressive public pushback against DOJ, calling its snooping a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” in a letter fired off to Attorney General Eric Holder. And yet something of a bunkerlike atmosphere has taken hold at the AP in Washington with no bureau-wide meetings or announcements about the DOJ’s action, AP sources told POLITICO.

    The chief concern about the government probe, according to many of those journalists, is that the DOJ’s intrusion will compromise their relationships with confidential sources, some of whom now fear that their private correspondence could be obtained by the federal government.

    “It’s chilling, and they owe us an explanation,” NBC News Political Director and White House correspondent Chuck Todd said on Tuesday. “This is intimidation and that’s what it feels and looks like and unless they have a different explanation, there is no other conclusion to draw than a way to intimidate whistleblowers.”

    “It is outrageous, totally inexcusable,” Carl Bernstein, the investigative reporter, said on MSNBC. “This administration has been terrible on this subject from the beginning. The object of it is to intimidate people who talk to reporters. This was an accident waiting to become a nuclear event and now it’s happened. There’s no excuse for it whatsoever. There’s no reason for this investigation, especially on this scale.”
    Inside the AP: Fear, determination - Dylan Byers and Katie Glueck - POLITICO.com

    the 54 member media coalition's 4 page letter to ag holder and deputy cole, the body of which lays out point by point the doj's violations of its own manual for collecting phone records

    The nation’s news media were stunned to learn yesterday of the Departmentof Justice’s broad subpoena of telephone records belonging to The Associated Press. In the thirty years since the Department issued guidelines governingits subpoena practice as it relates to phone records from journalists, none of us can remember an instance where such an overreaching dragnet for newsgathering materials was deployed by the Department, particularlywithout notice to the affected reporters or an opportunity to seek judicialreview. The scope of this action calls into question the very integrity of Department of Justice policies toward the press and its ability to balance, onits own, its police powers against the First Amendment rights of the newsmedia and the public’s interest in reporting on all manner of governmentconduct, including matters touching on national security which lie at the heart of this case.

    And finally, the Department should announce whether it has served any other pendingnews media-related subpoenas that have not yet been disclosed.
    Media coalition letter of protest to Attorney General Eric Holder - The Washington Post

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    Re: Inside the AP: Fear, Determination

    "Chilling" keeps popping up in news stories. Here's what the NY Times Editorial Board has to say:

    The Obama administration, which has a chilling zeal for investigating leaks and prosecuting leakers, has failed to offer a credible justification for secretly combing through the phone records of reporters and editors at The Associated Press in what looks like a fishing expedition for sources and an effort to frighten off whistle-blowers.

    ...Both Mr. Holder and Mr. Cole [a deputy AG]declared their commitment — and that of President Obama — to press freedoms. Mr. Cole said the administration does not “take lightly” such secretive trolling through media records.

    We are not convinced.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/op...-press.html?hp

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    Re: Inside the AP: Fear, Determination

    I would be impressed if the AP folks had been angered because the law had been broken, instead of whining "they don't take us seriously."

    It's rather hard to take the presstitute media seriously when they have demonstrated time and again that they are but government lap dogs, never asking intelligent questions, and just regurgitating government talking points.

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    Re: Inside the AP: Fear, Determination

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    "Chilling" keeps popping up in news stories.
    Funny, just a couple of months ago they were all laughing at Bob Woodward for so much as implying such a thing.

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    Re: Inside the AP: Fear, Determination

    In all honesty, the AP got what it deserved. Doesn't make the actions of the administration right or legal, and someone needs to be punished. But the AP along with most other 'media' have had a blind eye turned to this administration since day one.

    Learn what it means to be journalists and this sort of thing might well never happen again, as you will quit empowering the overreach of power this administration is fond of.
    "nah i think the way cons want to turn this into a political issue is funny though" - Philly Boss

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    Re: Inside the AP: Fear, Determination

    holder testified today in house judiciary

    Attorney General Eric Holder, long accustomed to GOP attacks, faced bipartisan ire in the House Wednesday from lawmakers looking for answers on multiple fronts.

    Most of the Judiciary Committee’s questions during the four-hour session revolved around the Justice Department’s decision to subpoena journalists’ phone records in connection with a leak investigation — but there was little new information in the responses from Holder, who announced Tuesday that he had recused himself from the inquiry.

    Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said the Justice Department’s handling of the investigation — which eventually obtained records of phone calls from home, office and cellphone lines used by several Associated Press reporters and editors — “appears to be contrary to the law and standard procedure.” He pressed Holder to explain why the news organization was not given advance notice of the subpoenas.

    I do not know with regard to this particular case why that was or was not done. … I am not familiar with the reasons why the email was disrupted in the way that it was,” Holder said. “I have faith in the people who would actually be responsible for this case [that] they were aware of the rules, and they followed them. But I don’t have a factual basis to answer the question because I was recused.”

    The toughest criticism for Holder on the Democratic side came from Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California.

    “It seems to me clear that the actions of the department have, in fact, impaired the First Amendment,” Lofgren said. “Reporters who might have previously believed that a confidential source would speak to them will no longer have that level of confidence because those confidential sources are now going to be chilled in their relationship with the press.”

    “It seems to me the damage done to a free press is substantial and will continue until corrective action is taken,” she added. “I think this is a very serious matter that concerns all of us, no matter your party affiliation.”

    Holder pleaded ignorance about the details, but said he thought the department should explain its actions in more detail when the probe ends.

    Several lawmakers expressed surprise that Holder had recused himself from the AP-related probe without generating any paperwork or email to document the decision.

    “As I think about it, … that actually might be a better policy to have,” Holder conceded late in the hearing.

    The ranking Democrat on the panel, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, began his opening remarks with a sharp criticism of the department’s foray into the AP journalists’ contacts.

    “I am deeply troubled by the notion that our government would secretly pursue such a broad array of media phone records over such a long period of time,” Conyers said.

    Conyers said a reporter’s shield law, which failed to pass in recent Congresses, was sorely needed. “I suggest that those of us with concerns about a free press also work together to achieve a better balance in the law,” he said, calling it a common-sense measure.

    His statement did not note that the version of the bill the Senate took up in 2009 and the Obama administration endorsed contained an exception for national security cases that likely would have rendered it inapplicable in the probe that led to the AP subpoenas.
    Eric Holder gets grilled on the Hill - Josh Gerstein and Jennifer Epstein - POLITICO.com

    so clever, eric, to recuse...

    so we'll just have to question mr cole

    how's july sound?

    you don't know when you recused yourself?

    Holder: "I Am Not Sure" When I Recused Myself | RealClearPolitics

    and you have no written record?

    fair enough...

    we'll just have to ask mr cole

    how's september sound?

    you can't remember how many others?

    NPR: Holder Isn't Sure How Often Reporters' Records Are Seized

    that many, huh?

    while carney blames the cia for talking points, obama blames treasury for irs

    NBC: W.H. Blaming Treasury Dept. for IRS Scandal

    obama's buck never stops

    so eric holder defers to the deputy we're just gonna have to depose...

    in december

    Holder On AP Scandal: "I Was Not The Person Involved" | RealClearPolitics

    real slick
    Last edited by The Prof; 05-15-13 at 10:42 PM.

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    Re: Inside the AP: Fear, Determination

    It has come out that some of these records involve calls to and from members of the House of Representatives, which opens up the possibility of a Constitutional crisis.

    Would You Believe The Administration Got Phone Records of The House Of Representatives? The Greenroom

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." --HL Mencken

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    Re: Inside the AP: Fear, Determination

    This is the type of crap you get when you elect someone with a cult of personality.

    Quote Originally Posted by TV_Host
    What part of the presidency does Obama like? He doesn't like dealing with other politicians -- that means his own cabinet, that means members of the congress, either party. He doesn't particularly like the press.... He likes to write the speeches, likes to rewrite what Favreau and the others wrote for the first draft.
    So what part does he like? He likes going on the road, campaigning, visiting businesses like he does every couple days somewhere in Ohio or somewhere. But what part does he like? He doesn't like lobbying for the bills he cares about. He doesn't like selling to the press. He doesn't like giving orders or giving somebody the power to give orders. He doesn't seem to like being an executive

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    Re: Inside the AP: Fear, Determination

    ap prez pruitt on ftn this morning:

    Pruitt: DOJ subpoenas unconstitutional - POLITICO.com

    Associated Press President and CEO Gary Pruitt said on Sunday the Justice Department subpoenas of phone records was unconstitutional and is already impacting news gathering.

    "Their rules require them to come to us first," Pruitt said on CBS's "Face the Nation." But instead of trying to work with the AP, the Justice Department claimed an exception that informing the news organization would have posed a substantial threat to their investigation. The Justice Department sought phone records for 21 AP phone lines that were used by approximately 100 journalists over the course of two months, he said.

    "We can't understand why," Pruitt said, since the records came from an outside business and couldn't have been tampered with.

    Pruitt said that the message being sent is that if officials talk to the press they are going to be sought out and monitored by the government.

    "It will hurt journalism," Pruitt said. "We are already seeing some impact."
    intended or not, it's intimidating

    stay tuned

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    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
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