Please feel free to file the following under "You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up"
So, the miserable hack that runs the Justice Department was reported to feel just awful about his people seizing the phone records of Associated Press employees after reading about how chapped people were regarding this development as reported in the newspaper.
To assuage his
guilty conscience bruised ego, what does he propose? Of course, a closed door off-the-record meeting with bureau chiefs of any media outlet that would accept the invite to discuss how it was that the Justice Department was going to protect/prosecute free speech in the future.
The 90-minute meeting was attended by a small group of journalists after several news organizations objected to the Justice Department's insistence that it be held off the record. The participants, however, reached an agreement with the Justice Department under which they could describe what occurred during the meeting in general terms. The Justice Department is expected to meet with other news organizations and media lawyers in coming days.
Unreal. What you just read is something that should never have happened in a society that takes freedom of speech and freedom of the press seriously. It's apparent, by what was described above, we no longer do.
If you are keeping score at home, here's who did and did not choose to attend.
Those who did choose to attend should have stated going in that they fully intended on reporting out exactly, word for word, what was discussed and who it was that discussed it. Especially in light of the circumstances, those attending would be under neither legal nor ethical obligation to do otherwise.
The best read for this disgusting travesty was provided by HuffPo's Jason Linkins:
That said, everyone should just decline the opportunity to have this secret chat with Eric Holder about the Justice Department's bespoke approach to the "freedom of the press." Unless, of course, one of the attendees plans on going and then tossing the "off the record" rule in the garbage, which in my estimation would be an okay thing to do. Media organizations that conflate "journalistic ethics" with "bullshit political niceties" are conspirators in their own demise. So, you know, go right ahead and burn Eric Holder as a "source." What's he going to do? Petulantly deny you "access." Feh, who cares?
There are a number of good reasons for media organizations to avoid participating in this silly bavardage session with Holder. My bureau chief, Ryan Grim, cites the overarching principle guiding his decision: "A conversation specifically about the freedom of the press should be an open one. We have a responsibility not to betray that."
Eric Holder assures us he is all in for freedom of the press. He just doesn't want the media to say how much he is for or against it.
It's become blatantly obvious by this time, the Obama 2nd term agenda has been reduced to putting The Onion out of business.
While hanging out with B-Daddy last weekend, we noted that if we lay claim to nothing else in our blogging career, we correctly identified Eric Holder as the biggest hack in this administration a year into Obama's first term. Tell us we were wrong.