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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NYT, AP Decline To Meet With Holder

Eric Holder planned an off-the-record meeting this week with Washington bureau chiefs at major media outlets to brief them on how the Justice Department deals with journalists who work with leakers. It looked like the beginning of an apology tour or at best a stroking session where ruffled feathers would be smoothed, probably good scotch would be served, bygones would be bygones and they would live happily ever after. Not so fast, shrieked New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson.
“We will not be attending the session at DOJ. It isn’t appropriate for us to attend an off the record meeting with the attorney general. Our Washington bureau is aggressively covering the department’s handling of leak investigations at this time."
Psst, Eric, tell her she can recuse herself and still drop by for a drink.
The latest no show to announce was Associated Press.
"We believe the meeting should be on the record and we have said that to the Attorney General’s office. If it is on the record, AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll will attend. If it is not on the record, AP will not attend and instead will offer our views on how the regulations should be updated in an open letter," AP spokesperson Erin Madigan said in a statement sent to POLITICO. "We would expect AP attorneys to be included in any planned meetings between the Attorney General’s office and media lawyers on the legal specifics."
In other words, we won't be there but our lawyers will.
AP and the Times are two big players and no one knows how many other news organizations will follow suit. Let's hope it's just Holder and MSNBC.

 Update: CNN and the Huffington Post will not attend. Politico will suck up.

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