5/22/2013 10:38:00 AM Editorial Spin, lies, dragnet not good for U.S.
Courtesy the Daily Courier
If it weren't so serious, it would be comical to watch the national media try to spin the Obama administration scandals the president's way.
When White House spokesman Jay Carney continued one week ago to cling to the fairy tale that the administration had not substantively altered the CIA talking points on the Benghazi attack - ABC News has released evidence that the talking points were revised 12 times to hide the truth of the attack - some in the media wanted to downplay Carney's fable.
"Jay Carney has got caught saying something that wasn't completely true," liberal commentator David Corn admitted.
"That's called a lie, David," responded Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute.
Even Watergate legend Carl Bernstein came to Obama's defense after the IRS admitted targeting conservative groups, saying he "can't imagine" the outrageous tactic could've had the president's blessing.
At the same time, the Justice Department certainly appears to have gone too far in trying to ferret out who leaked information on a secret CIA operation that foiled an al-Qaida plot to bomb a U.S.-bound airliner last year.
According to the Associated Press, federal prosecutors secretly seized phone records for April and May 2012 not only from the reporters and editor involved in that story, but from more than 20 phone lines in the news cooperative's offices in Washington, D.C., New York and Hartford, Conn., that house more than 100 journalists, as well as several of their personal phones.
While the phone records would not reveal what was said during the calls, they would show the phone numbers of people or agencies that reporters called, potentially including confidential sources. The AP is right in calling the "dragnet" an unjustified and unprecedented intrusion into its newsgathering.
All Americans, not just defenders of press freedom, ought to be alarmed by this threat to the First Amendment, while wondering when the national media will take notice to the Nixonian strategies that are happening in Washington.