Earlier today I reported on the emerging pattern of Eric Holder’s DOJ ignoring crimes committed by DOJ employees. This should be big news at websites that “cover” the DOJ, right? Guess again.
A blog called Main Justice, run by former Wall Street Journal reporter Mary Jacoby, purports to cover the Justice Department. But oddly, there was no mention at Main Justice of the blockbuster story Matt Boyle broke at the Daily Caller (and covered here at PJ Media) about Assistant United States Attorneys taking bribes from the people they were investigating. Not a whisper.
This might be because Mary Jacoby, the person who runs the blog, is in the tank for the administration. Main Justice has become the alter ego of the DOJ Office of Public Affairs. A quasi-government news body, if you will. Sort of the NPR of the DOJ.
The masthead of Main Justice changes so frequently from employee turnover, they can’t even keep the fonts consistent. But Jacoby is the one constant that defends Eric Holder.
Instead of Main Justice receiving taxpayer dollars like NPR does, it does one better. It appears to receive money from Eric Holder’s old law firm, Covington and Burling. That’s right, one of Jacoby’s biggest advertisers over the last two years has been Covington and Burling. Given that Holder is probably destined to return to Covington and Burling after he resigns (or is impeached, or on January 20, 2013), the advertising arrangement looks particularly sketchy.
It works like this – Holder’s old law firm presumably pays Jacoby money for the internet advertisements at Main Justice. Jacoby then does the public relations bidding for Holder and provides ever-favorable, and often untruthful, coverage of the DOJ. She helps preserve the Holder brand, probably paid for in part by his past and future law firm. Nicely played, though defending Eric Holder is an increasingly lonely task.
Has Mary Jacoby’s Main Justice covered the PJ Media story of alleged perjury in a DOJ Inspector General’s investigation by a Voting Section employee? Nope. That would qualify as “unfavorable coverage,” so that’s not allowed.
Has Mary Jacoby’s Main Justice covered the front page Washington Times story about misuse of taxpayer dollars inside the DOJ Civil Rights Division overseen by Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez? Nope. More unfavorable coverage. Her advertisers might not like it, especially one particular law firm.
Has Mary Jacoby’s Main Justice covered the story of a DOJ lawyer surfing child porn on his computer and going unpunished? Barely, and once. Any additional coverage might call into question the management of the Attorney General and endanger advertising dollars. Some might wonder where the indictments are. After all, Jacoby has been losing readership since the heady days of 2009. Her Alexa.com traffic has collapsed into oblivion – so low it is no longer even charted. (Yes, Roger S., I know we don’t punch downward – in this case, way, way downward – but some conduct is so outrageous, it is deserving).
So why does this matter to you? Because the story of Main Justice reveals an insidious public relations model adopted by the Obama administration that has gotten minimal attention. The DOJ Office of Public Affairs, run by the infamous shrieker Tracy Schmaler, has a number of reliable partner blogs. Some DOJ public relations employees actually once worked for Media Matters. (Xochitl Hinojosa). DOJ uses these lapdog web outlets like Main Justice to push the government’s version of events. In exchange, the chosen blogs get access and tips quicker than everyone else. And in the case of Main Justice, cash seems to flow from law firms associated with Eric Holder.
No longer do the media stand watch against lying and corrupt government officials. Some media outlets are the private sector protectors of the government. The First Amendment has been turned upside down.