AG Eric Holder, White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, and White House spokesman Jay Carney all stand at or near the center of various Obama scandals. Holder personally authorized the snooping against Fox reporter James Rosen. Ruemmler met numerous times with the Treasury Department’s chief counsel as the IRS abuse of conservatives was in full swing, leading to reasonable suspicions that she knew more about that abuse earlier than she has admitted. Her role potentially brings one of the worst scandals in U.S. history directly into the White House. Jay Carney has been caught out telling the media and the American people several things about the scandals that have turned out not to be true.
What, oh dear what, can the mainstream media do to help these poor, abusive, and dishonest progressives out of a jam?
The Daily Beast rises to the occasion with “Holder’s Regrets and Repairs.” Daniel Klaidman’s opus gives us a view of the abusive attorney general learning of his problems at his kitchen table.
DOJ officials, realizing the issue could turn into a press feeding frenzy, went into damage-control mode. Over the weekend they scrambled to prepare their response, including readying a press statement assuring that Justice had no plans to indict Rosen.
But for Attorney General Eric Holder, the gravity of the situation didn’t fully sink in until Monday morning when he read the Post’s front-page story, sitting at his kitchen table. Quoting from the affidavit, the story detailed how agents had tracked Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department, perused his private emails, and traced the timing of his calls to the State Department security adviser suspected of leaking to him. Then the story, quoting the stark, clinical language of the affidavit, described Rosen as “at the very least … an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” in the crime. Holder knew that Justice would be besieged by the twin leak probes; but, according to aides, he was also beginning to feel a creeping sense of personal remorse.
The sweeping seizure of the AP phone records had thrown Justice on the defensive. But at least in that case Holder had some personal insulation; having been interviewed by the FBI, he’d recused himself from the investigation and, thus, had not personally signed off on the subpoenas. In the Fox case, however, Holder knew he bore a direct measure of responsibility. He had approved a search-warrant application that equated a reporter’s newsgathering activities with criminal conduct. That put Holder at the center of the brewing controversy, all while the Obama administration was being buffeted over allegations that the IRS had targeted conservative groups and by the continuing Benghazi tempest.
Holder is casting the same image here that Barack Obama portrays of himself — just learning about his own scandals from the newspaper like everybody else. Message: See, he’s not a thug bent on waging war on Fox, he’s just a regular guy making a regular living like you!
In case you missed that sledgehammer of a message, the buttkissing Beast brings a quote from an unnamed Holder friend.
“Look, Eric sees himself fundamentally as a progressive, not some Torquemada out to silence the press,” says a friend who asked not to be identified.
History isn’t really on Holder’s or the “progressives'” side: Progressives have a bad habit of trying and succeeding in limiting the speech of people they disagree with. Just take a look at university speech codes. Those are creatures of rampant progressive policy. Woodrow Wilson, like Barack Obama, even jailed unhelpful filmmakers.
The sum and total of the Beast piece is that Eric Holder feels really, really bad about seizing James Rosen’s parents’ phone records. So he’s working with another progressive, Sen. Chuck Schumer, to pass a law so that reporters will be safe from Eric Holder and other progressives in the future. Fox, meet henhouse.
But the Beast is in second place when it comes to lending aid and comfort to an abusive and dishonest administration. Last week, as Jay Carney began to drown in his and his bosses’ lies on Benghazi, the IRS, and the media scandals, the Washington Post introduced you to Jay Carney, music maven.
Carney, who has fronted “terrible, terrible” garage bands since his adolescence, says he always has been drawn to the idea of regular dudes making extraordinary rock-and-roll. But above all, Guided by Voices songs simply make him happy.
“I just think Pollard is brilliant and funny and has a level of creativity in abundance that is just astonishing. It’s all essential listening if you can keep up with his production,” he says. “I used to until I had this job.”
Carney, 48, fell for Guided by Voices in 1995, two years after returning to Washington from Moscow, where he was reporting for Time. He was hosting a party with journalist John Heilemann when a pack of pals rolled in from the Black Cat. Carney remembers them saying, “ ‘We have just seen the greatest show ever in the history of rock-and-roll!’ ”
The next summer, Carney caught Guided by Voices on a parking lot side stage at the annual HFStival outside RFK Stadium. “Far from their best,” Carney says of the performance, but it didn’t stop him and his friends from trekking to see the band at New York’s Irving Plaza and a shabby Philadelphia club that Carney remembers as “a hallway at the end of which bands played.”
Jay Carney isn’t just that nimble spinner who has been lying to you about everything, America, he’s also a frustrated musician who’s kind of a Dead Head. Just like you! He likes crappy indie bands that sound like every other crappy indie band!
Jason Reed wrote that piece for Reuters and the Post. He has been thoroughly outclassed today by the Post’s Juliet Eilperin. She writes — I kid you not — about White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler’s shoes. The title of her hard-hitting piece: “A White House counsel known for her shoes.” Its lead sentence is an example of why Eilperin has earned a lofty perch in the national media.
It may say more about Washington than White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler that she’s known in the West Wing for her fabulous shoes.
The story about the shoes says a lot about the Washington Post.
A legal affairs blog “Above The Law,” called her a “star litigatrix” as a result. ”Litigatrix indeed,” the blog wrote. “Just because you work for the DOJ doesn’t mean you have to shop at DSW.”
Now, she wears Manolo Blahniks and Christian Louboutins into the Oval Office.
One of Ruemmler’s pairs has a jeweled paisley pattern; another is black and strappy. We tried to get a photo from the White House showing one of these exceptional pairs; instead we got this shot of her in a senior staff meeting with the president, revealing a conventional pair of heels.
Those Manolos can go for about $1,000 or more. One pair. That’s likely more cash than the computer you’re using to read this story. If Ruemmler were a Republican mired in scandals and spending a cool grand on her strappy shoes, the Post would not be so kind in reporting on her. In fact, it would spend its precious pixels crucifying her. It would be comparing her to Imelda Marcos and pointing out that she’s richer than you and using your money to pay for her fabulous shoes. But Ruemmler isn’t a Republican, she’s the White House counsel who may be involved in the IRS abusing taxpayers and Tea Partiers.
Take these three stories together plus Obama’s trip to the hurricane-stricken northeast (The Hill puts both “Obama” and “above the fray” in its headline on that story) and it’s obvious that the administration is moving a coordinated strategy to humanize itself to escape its scandals. You can’t hate music fans, shoe collectors, and the regular guy who just learns about his own messes from the morning news. It’s also obvious that even after the Obama White House has shown its nasty streak to the media, many in the media are eager to help it out of its jams.
Above all of these White House scandal figures is their boss, the Obama casting himself as “above the fray” with the help of The Hill’s Niall Stanage. At a minimum, Obama sets the tone that on one hand minimizes the terrorist threat leaving four Americans to die. On another hand, he rips Fox News to discredit it and intimidate the rest of the media, and on a gripping hand he treats his political foes as if we’re not Americans and deserves less consideration than captured terrorists. Obama isn’t above the fray, he is the fray.