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Ed Driscoll

JOHN ASHCROFT, OTHER TOP TIER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS SUBPOENAED

October 15th, 2011 - 3:03 pm

Yes, that’s what the headline in the New York Times would have read a decade ago; today, as Anthony Martin writes at Examiner.com, “Big media outlets ignore subpoena of entire top tier of Obama Administration,” in order to get to the bottom of the Project Gunwalker scandal:

Perhaps the biggest story in the political world since the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Bill Clinton in the 1990s, although the Senate refused to remove him from office, is the fact that this week a subpoena from the House was issued to the entire top tier of the Obama Administration. Yet as of today the big media outlets–ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post–have ignored the story entirely. And if they did mention it in passing, it was buried on a back page or relegated to an inconspicuous web page while never seeing the light of day on the air. Only Fox gave the story top billing.

Regarding the news blackout of the subpoena, one astute observer had this to say:

As evidence, ladies and gentlemen of the jury of history, I present the undisputed fact that on the evening news shows of NBC, ABC and CBS this week not one — NOT ONE — mentioned the unprecedented subpoena by a Congressional committee of information regarding the entire top echelon of the Justice Department in the Gunwalker Scandal.

Had this scandal involved John Ashcroft and the Bush Administration, does anyone doubt that the story would have led the nightly half-hour “puppet theater”? Or, that it wouldn’t have been covered like a blanket by all news departments from the moment the blood of Brian Terry dried in the desert sands of Rio Rico?

Big media complicity in the news blackout is a heavy indictment against modern journalism in America today.

As Martin writes, one of the very exceptions in the MSM has been Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News. No wonder that Jay Carney, the former Time magazine journalist turned White House press secretary (it’s a lateral career move) sounded akin to Bill Clinton saying, “you better put some ice on that,” when questioned last week about Attkisson’s claim about being screamed at by a fellow Obama staffer:

At Wednesday’s White House daily briefing, Fox News Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry asked Press Secretary Jay Carney to respond to a report that a White House official had “screamed and cussed at” CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson, over the unfolding Fast and Furious story. Carney said he didn’t know about that specific conversation, but elaborated in his response that, in general, “hard-bitten journalists” ought to be able to handle “tough conversations” and “an extra decibel or two in a phone conversation.”

Henry related Attkisson’s claim, which she made on Laura Ingraham‘s radio show. ”Sharyl Attkisson, a CBS News reporter, said, a few days ago that a White House official just yelled and screamed at her, she’s been reporting on this for some time, about this whole story,” Henry said.

He then framed his question within Carney’s experience as a journalist. “You were a reporter once, when government officials start yelling at you, sometimes it’s because they’re getting defensive, right?”

“I have no insight into the conversation she may, or may not, have had,” Carney began.  ”I know that you guys are all hard-bitten veteran journalists, and probably don’t complain when you have tough conversations with sources sometimes.”

As the otherwise typically Obama-friendly Mediaite put it in their headline, “Jay Carney’s Message To Reporters ‘Screamed At’ By Sources: Toughen Up.”

Attkisson told Laura Ingraham:

Well the DOJ woman was just yelling at me. The guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me. … Eric Schultz. Oh, the person screaming was [DOJ spokeswoman] Tracy Schmaler, she was yelling not screaming. And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House.

No wonder Schultz sounded rather on edge last week. Yesterday, this was reported in Roll Call:

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) made headlines this week by issuing a subpoena for documents from Attorney General Eric Holder about a botched weapons investigation, but Holder is apparently not Issa’s only target.

A little-noticed provision of the subpoena targets the White House, specifically naming Eric Schultz, a communications aide who was hired in May to respond to media inquiries on oversight matters.

Issa issued the subpoena as part of his investigation into a program called Fast and Furious, which whistle-blowers have described as allowing assault weapons and military-grade sniper rifles to transfer into criminal networks.

Say, it’s a good thing the media has Occupy Wall Street to focus on right now to deflect attention not just from this story, but from all of the other high-speed Obamacontinental train wrecks crashing into each other right now, isn’t it? As Andrew Stiles wrote at the Corner yesterday evening, “Even for the Obama administration, today’s news dump ($1.3 trillion deficit, the demise of the CLASS Act, and war in Uganda) is something to behold.” And then add into the mix investigations into Gunwalker and Solyndra, and it must really feel like bunker time inside the White House right now.

Update: “Let’s Do The Time Warp Again,” Tom Maguire writes, asking what did Eric Holder know, and when did he know it? “Hey, time flies when you’re planning civilian trials for Qaeda terrorists and investigating the CIA.” Not to mention describing the voters as cowards.

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