The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Huffington Post, CNN and now, of course, Fox News: these are the media organizations, superficially from across the political spectrum, which have said they will boycott a meeting with the DOJ's embattled head, Eric Holder, on the topic of the DOJ's (not to mention the NSA's) Nixonian abuse of the first amendment and eavesdropping wherever and whenever it so chooses. The twist: the meeting is, paradoxically, supposed to be "off the record." One wonders: was this the DOJ's idea of being open and transparent - to hold a closed door meeting with the same media that it, allegedly, has been spying on, and thus put the media whose job is to report events - as in keeping the public informed - in a place where it can't do precisely that? It is as if the Marx Brothers are writing the tragicomic script for a sequence of events that inevitably ends with Holder's resignation and Obama's washing his hands of the whole affair.
Fox is just the latest media organization to say it will boycott the meeting if it is off the record. Holder asked for the meetings in an attempt to ensure the press corps that its investigations of national security leaks are conducted in a way that respects the First Amendment.
The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Huffington Post and CNN have issued separate statements saying they will not attend because the DOJ is requiring the content of the meetings stay confidential.
Fox is at the center of the controversy surrounding the Justice Department’s investigation of national security leaks.
The DOJ seized the personal emails of Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen and used other surveillance methods to investigate whether he was complicit in a leak of classified information.
It also examined his phone records and tracked his visits to the State Department using security-badge data during the 2009 probe; the DOJ also filed legal papers saying he may have acted as “an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” by getting materials from a government official also under investigation.
The House Judiciary Committee is now investigating whether Holder lied under oath during his May 15 testimony before the panel, in which he said he’s never been involved with or heard about a reporter being prosecuted for the disclosure of confidential material.
Fox News host Greta Van Susteren joked on her blog Thursday that if Fox was going to be the only media outlet attending the off-the-record meeting, they should send Rosen to meet with Holder.
It's good to know that as what little remaining constitional rights are stripped away by a government hell bent on converting the country to a "turnkey totalitarian state" (not our words, those of the NSA whistleblower who exposed that there is no privacy in the US anymore) and for whom the rule of law simply does not apply, is a laughing matter to someone.