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by
Rick Moran

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May 19, 2013 - 3:22 pm

AP President Gary Pruitt points out that the Department of Justice process to obtain his reporters’ phone records was very unusual and has already had a chilling effect on newsgathering.

Politico:

“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.”

It’s not so much that the government is trying to plug leaks, which is a legitimate activity when national security is at stake. But the way it has been done in the past is exactly the opposite of the way the Obama administration approached the problem. Instead of investigating reporters, they should be investigating their own people to see where the leak occurred. If reporters must be investigated, cooperation is usually sought from the media outlets whose employees are being investigated. Pruitt is understandably mystified at the way the Justice Department went about trying to plug the leak.

“Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel,” said Mark Twain. For the Obama administration, who may rue the day they pulled this stunt, even in the digital age Mr. Twain’s advice is well considered.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (8)
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The media should be irrelevant to the issue. What should be relevant is the government aggressively using their highly polished assets to find government elected officials, appointed officials and all government employees who release any levels of classified information and or document. Charge them, convict them and throw the keys away. Heck foreign nations don't have to invest much in government or industrial espionage anymore since all they have to do is read our newspapers and follow many specialized internets sites. All to many americans today, are quite happy giving the country's classified assets and national security away.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Pfeiffer, is that you?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
God I hate holding my nose while defending the AP from their poster boy.
But I'm doing it...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I love this particular turn of event, the gradual shift in the hot wind [Sirocco] now being against those whom th' Media formerly protected.

It's sort of a minuet-like double hypocrisy, a double-cross for both th' Media and the White House to bear.

Let's watch now for individual reporters' position-changes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Randomengineer must not have seen this article. He seems to think we don't mind that the government is monitoring the media.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I like the way you say 'it should be'. The Constitution is the uber law of our land but it has been either ignored or disparaged for a long time. Even Teddy Roosevelt didn't think much of it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"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.”"

So it will work.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sending a not-so subtle message to all of the press, "better get in line with us, or we'll get you, Sucker?"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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