Friday, the Associated Press reported that in early 2017, President Donald Trump and then-FBI Director James Comey agreed there should be a crackdown on leaks from within the administration.
But the AP reporters refused to apply any form of the word "leak" to Comey's release of a memo through an intermediary to The New York Times in May 2017 — even though it did when the leak originally occurred.
Great effort was taken in today report to avoid applying the L-word to what Comey did almost a year ago:
Leak crackdown talk yields rare Comey, Trump agreement
James Comey and President Donald Trump seem to disagree on most everything, but the ex-FBI director’s memos show consensus on at least one thing: the need to hunt down leakers.
The two men bonded over the idea of a proposed leak crackdown, even sharing a chuckle over a crude joke involving jailed journalists, according to memos written by Comey and obtained by The Associated Press.
"Obtained by the Associated Press" really means "leaked to AP."
Continuing, with unjustified self back-patting:
... The Trump administration has loudly complained about leaks, and Trump himself has repeatedly accused Comey of being a leaker. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said there are several dozen leak investigations open, though that aggressiveness is similar to that of the Obama Justice Department, which was frequently criticized by media organizations and free press advocates.
The self-congratulation is misplaced. Complaints about DOJ efforts to prosecute leakers during the Obama administration from "media organizations" were rare and perfunctory, while "free press advocates" usually got little notice except at their own websites.
After the DOJ swept through work and personal phone records of dozens of AP reporters in 2013, its management issued an outraged letter of complaint but took no legal action, instead later declaring satisfaction with revised DOJ snooping guidelines. (DOJ originally violated its own guidelines to spy on AP, so its theatrics really proved nothing.)
... Comey’s memos had been eagerly anticipated since their existence was first revealed last year, especially since Comey’s interactions with Trump are a critical part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation ...
"Since their existence was first revealed" really means, "Since they were leaked."
The AP hasn't always been so reluctant to describe Comey's memo as "leaked," as seen in this June 9, 2017 dispatch carried at the Los Angeles Times:
While I could not determine whether the headline above was the one AP published at its own websites, the reference to "the leaks," not in quotes, in the excerpted content paragraph indicates that the wire service's reporter acknowledged that Comey was a "leaker," not a "revealer."
Here's another example found at PBS where AP's use of the L-word is even more definitive:
Apparently, in April 2018, St. James doesn't leak; he "reveals."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.