Eric Holder's 'Off-The-Record' Meeting With Journalists Leads To 'On-The-Record' Quotes, But Not Much Else
from the blah-de-blah-blah dept
Remember how Eric Holder wanted to hold a meeting with a bunch of journalists as he seeks to revise the "guidelines" the DOJ sets up for itself (fox watching the hen house, anyone?) on how it spies on journalists? A meeting where many top news organizations refused to go because it was officially "off the record?" In the end, the media seemed to be split on whether or not to go, as summarized by the Huffington Post (who didn't go):
Not going: New York Times, AP, Huffington Post, McClatchy, CNN, CBS News, Fox News, Reuters, and NBC News.And then, for all the fuss, at the end of the meeting, DOJ officials told the reporters they could discuss "in general some of the ideas that were discussed," though it appears that some points still remained off the record. As for what was publicly disclosed, it sounds like reporters were not impressed.
Going: The Washington Post, Politico, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times/ Chicago Tribune, ABC News, Bloomberg, USA Today.
At the session, Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole expressed a willingness to revise the guidelines for such investigations, journalists present at the get-together told POLITICO.Ah, so the hens get to suggest to the fox how they'd like their rights to be violated, and then the fox gets to decide how best to "incorporate those suggestions"? I'm sure that will work out just great. As some who were in attendance noted, nothing in the meeting suggested that the DOJ was actually going to change or adjust its policies.
But Holder stopped short of offering any concrete changes to the guidelines. Instead, the Attorney General sought to assure the journalists that he and the DOJ were trying to seek a balance between the demands of national security and the free flow of information, and sought suggestions from the journalists on how those changes might be achieved.