Sunday, May 19, 2013

Where were you when we needed you

I'm about done with the pseudoscandals but one last word on the AP records grab. AP's CEO went on the teevee to wail about their persecution today claiming the DoJ violated the constitution.
“We don’t question their right to conduct these sort of investigations, we just think they went about it the wrong way. So sweeping, so secretively, so abusively and harassingly and overbroad that it is an unconstitutional act,” Pruitt said Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation. [...]

“Under their own rules, they are required to narrow this request as narrowly as possible so as to not tread upon the First Amendment. And yet they had a broad, sweeping collection. And they did it secretly,” Pruitt said.
I can't speak to the scope of the request. All we have to go on is AP's word about that and frankly, these days that's not worth squat. Certainly the time frame was limited. As far as I know it was done under the law, by subpoena, under precedents set at least as early as the Bush administration. Don't necessarily disagree that it's unconstitutional. If the AP wants to challenge the law on those grounds, they have my full support. But this bid for pity leaves me cold.
He said it’s already had an effect by making sources skittish about talking to journalists. “I think it will hurt journalists,” Pruitt said of the matter.
Really? If your business model depends almost solely on anonymous inside sources who leak to advance their own political agenda, as we saw so brilliantly illustrated this week with Jon Karl's fake scoop, then maybe you need a new model. One that's based on investigative work and independent fact finding instead of lazy repetition of unconfirmed rumors.

This guy articulated what galls me about the AP wailing really well:
And here's the funny part: after years and years of governmental power-grabbing, Unitary Executive over-reaching, Supreme Court rubber-stamping and congressional go-alonging, the dirty fact of the matter is that, almost certainly according to what now passes for American law, the Department of Justice technically did nothing wrong when they plundered the phone histories of all those reporters. [...]

Well, welcome to the future you helped to create. I have neither pity nor sorrow for you, but I am hopeful that your sudden inclusion in the ranks of the "Oh Shit, They Can Do That?" Club will inspire you to truthfully and factually inform the American people about what has been happening to their country right under their, and your, nose.
Hell, ten years ago this same media was sneering at the "unserious" left for raising the alarm about the Patriot Act. They ignored the anti-war movement. They showed no concern about the encroachment of civil rights against its activists. They fluffed every warmongering talking point. They treated the outing of Valerie Plame, done strictly to cover up the lies that started the damn war on terror, as inconsequential. We told them then, it would lead to this. They mocked us. So forgive me if I send my regrets to AP's pity party.

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Blogger merlallen said...

If they've done nothing wrong, they have nothing to fear, right? I seem to remember hearing that over and over for 8 years.

1:14:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

To be fair that was coming from the GOP and the cons, not the media per se. But it's really hard to care about them when they're failing us so thoroughly.

2:54:00 PM  

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