Dem Mouthpiece: If You Won't Meet Holder Off the Record, You Forfeit 'Your Right to Gripe'

May 30th, 2013 10:49 AM

This looks like a perfect exhibit of intimidation combined with insufferable arrogance.

Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner reports that Democratic Party spokesperson Brad Woodhouse, apparently temporarily assuming the role of White House Press Secretary, is really upset that the New York Times refused to meet yesterday for an off-the-record discussion about Attorney General Eric Holder about recent revelations and admissions that the Justice Departmet has been conducting secret sureillance of reporters for several years (bold is mine):

Media outlets that refuse to participate in an off-the-record meeting with Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder about the Justice Department’s surveillance of journalists surrender their ‘right to gripe’ about the government investigations, according to a Democratic spokesman.

The New York Times announced that it will not send a representative to the meeting. “POTUS asked AG to review how leak investigations are done but some in the media refuse to meet with him,” Democratic Party Communications Director Brad Woodhouse tweeted. “Kind of forfeits your right [to] gripe.”

“[My point is the AG wants to meet as part of his review to fix things,” he added. “How is not attending helping him do so?”

Jill Abramson, the New York Times executive editor, explained why her paper is not participating in the meeting. “It isn’t appropriate for us to attend an off the record meeting with the attorney general,” she said in a statement to Politico. “Our Washington bureau is aggressively covering the department’s handling of leak investigations at this time.”

Abramson added that “evidently, there will be a future session with department officials on the substance of how the law should be applied in leak cases and I am hopeful that our counsel, David McCraw will be able to participate in that meeting.”

Given Abramson's reference to meetings with "our counsel," perhaps yesterday's off-the-record meeting should really have been characterized as "pre-settlement discussions" or "preemptive attempts to compromise potential litigants' claims should they choose to sue DOJ." Perhaps Abramson was smart enough to understand that.

Cross-posted at