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Posts Tagged ‘Eric Holder’

Morning Media Newsfeed: WH Probes CIA Press Leak | Katz, Lenfest Win Inquirer Bidding | New Abramson/NYT Details

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White House Launches Probe Into CIA Station Chief Disclosure (Politico)
The White House has launched an investigation into how the name of the CIA’s station chief in Afghanistan was released to the press Sunday during President Barack Obama’s surprise visit to U.S. troops there, officials said. TVNewser White House counsel Neil Eggleston will oversee the investigation. FishbowlDC On Sunday as President Obama spoke at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, a pool report sent to upwards of 6,000 journalists included the name of a CIA station chief in the country, as one of many briefing the President during his visit. HuffPost The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson, who wrote the pool report, had received the list from White House officials. Wilson included the list as part of a pool report from Obama’s visit to Afghanistan that was distributed Saturday by the White House press office, which later sent out a revised version not including the station chief’s name. Despite the pool report appearing in thousands of inboxes, all major news outlets have continued to withhold the covert agent’s name at the government’s request. Time The CIA official operates under a cover, though their identity is known to the Afghan government. The release of the name is not only a faux pas in intelligence circles, but could jeopardize the CIA officer’s career and safety.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Sun-Times Staff Laid Off | Spin Fires EIC | New Robin Roberts Gig?


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Chicago Sun-Times Lays Off Its Photo Staff (Chicago Tribune)
The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, and plans to use freelance photographers and reporters to shoot photos and video going forward, the newspaper said. A total of 28 full-time staffers received the news Thursday morning at a meeting held at the Sun-Times offices in Chicago, according to sources familiar with the situation. Crain’s Chicago Business The Chicago Newspaper Guild, the union that represents the photographers, immediately said it would consider taking action against the company over the cuts. It’s in negotiations on a new contract for the reporters, photographers and other workers it represents. Before the cuts, it had about 150 members at the company. Gawker A photojournalist is a photojournalist, even in times when he maybe shouldn’t be. Which is why when Sun-Times photographer Al Podgorski discovered Thursday morning that his entire department was being wiped out, the first thing he did was reach for his camera to capture the moment. National Press Photographers Association The layoffs included Chicago photojournalism icon and Pulitzer Prize-winner John H. White. Rob Hart, a Sun-Times Media photojournalist at the suburban Pioneer Press and an adjunct faculty member at the Medill School of Journalism, was in the room Thursday morning with the entire staff when they were told of the layoffs. “Being in the room with John White when we got laid off was a highlight of my career,” Hart told News Photographer magazine. MediaJobsDaily Apparently the 10th largest circulating newspaper in the country plans to rely on freelancers and reporters using their smartphones. Read more

Morning Media Newsfeed: Sun-Times Staff Laid Off | Spin Fires EIC | New Robin Roberts Gig?


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Chicago Sun-Times Lays Off Its Photo Staff (Chicago Tribune)
The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, and plans to use freelance photographers and reporters to shoot photos and video going forward, the newspaper said. A total of 28 full-time staffers received the news Thursday morning at a meeting held at the Sun-Times offices in Chicago, according to sources familiar with the situation. Crain’s Chicago Business The Chicago Newspaper Guild, the union that represents the photographers, immediately said it would consider taking action against the company over the cuts. It’s in negotiations on a new contract for the reporters, photographers and other workers it represents. Before the cuts, it had about 150 members at the company. Gawker A photojournalist is a photojournalist, even in times when he maybe shouldn’t be. Which is why when Sun-Times photographer Al Podgorski discovered Thursday morning that his entire department was being wiped out, the first thing he did was reach for his camera to capture the moment. National Press Photographers Association The layoffs included Chicago photojournalism icon and Pulitzer Prize-winner John H. White. Rob Hart, a Sun-Times Media photojournalist at the suburban Pioneer Press and an adjunct faculty member at the Medill School of Journalism, was in the room Thursday morning with the entire staff when they were told of the layoffs. “Being in the room with John White when we got laid off was a highlight of my career,” Hart told News Photographer magazine. MediaJobsDaily Apparently the 10th largest circulating newspaper in the country plans to rely on freelancers and reporters using their smartphones.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT, AP Snub Holder, Musto’s New Gigs, MSNBC Ratings Crash


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New York Times, AP Won’t Attend Off-The-Record Eric Holder Meeting (HuffPost / The Backstory)
The New York Times and Associated Press said Wednesday that they will not attend a meeting this week between attorney general Eric Holder and the Washington bureau chiefs of several media outlets to discuss guidelines for journalists in leak investigations. Times executive editor Jill Abramson cited the Justice Department’s request that the discussion be kept off the record as a reason for not attending. NYT Even as Holder has sought to regain his footing, Republicans have resumed their criticism, accusing him of misleading Congress in testimony over whether the Justice Department has considered prosecuting journalists under the Espionage Act for publishing government secrets. HuffPost / The Backstory Associated Press president and chief executive Gary Pruitt told staff at a Wednesday town hall meeting that the phone records obtained by the government included “thousands and thousands” of calls in and out of the news organization, according to a staffer who attended. BuzzFeed Leading civil liberties groups criticized comments made by the Democratic Party’s communications director that media groups refusing to attend the off-the-record meeting are giving up their “right [to] gripe” about the Department of Justice’s pursuit of journalists’ records under Holder’s leadership. Read more

Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT, AP Snub Holder, Musto’s New Gigs, MSNBC Ratings Crash


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New York Times, AP Won’t Attend Off-The-Record Eric Holder Meeting (HuffPost / The Backstory)
The New York Times and Associated Press said Wednesday that they will not attend a meeting this week between attorney general Eric Holder and the Washington bureau chiefs of several media outlets to discuss guidelines for journalists in leak investigations. Times executive editor Jill Abramson cited the Justice Department’s request that the discussion be kept off the record as a reason for not attending. NYT Even as Holder has sought to regain his footing, Republicans have resumed their criticism, accusing him of misleading Congress in testimony over whether the Justice Department has considered prosecuting journalists under the Espionage Act for publishing government secrets. HuffPost / The Backstory Associated Press president and chief executive Gary Pruitt told staff at a Wednesday town hall meeting that the phone records obtained by the government included “thousands and thousands” of calls in and out of the news organization, according to a staffer who attended. BuzzFeed Leading civil liberties groups criticized comments made by the Democratic Party’s communications director that media groups refusing to attend the off-the-record meeting are giving up their “right [to] gripe” about the Department of Justice’s pursuit of journalists’ records under Holder’s leadership.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Obama ‘Troubled’ By Leak | Four Bidding on Hulu | Martin Joins NYT


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Obama: Leak Investigations ‘May Chill Investigative Journalism’ (HuffPost / The Backstory)
President Obama said Thursday that he is “troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.” In a major speech on national security, Obama said that the “Justice Department’s investigation of national security leaks offers a recent example of the challenges involved in striking the right balance between our security and our open society.” TPM / LiveWire President Obama reiterated his support for a new media shield law to “guard against government over-reach” and has directed attorney general Eric Holder to review the Justice Department’s guidelines with reporters. The Washington Times The president’s comments came as NBC News reported that Holder signed off on at least one of the controversial search warrants that identified a Fox News reporter as a “possible co-conspirator.” TVNewser During President Obama’s speech to the National Defense University, he was interrupted a handful of times by a protester who called for him to shut down the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As so often happens when there is a heckler, news coverage of the speech spent some time talking about the heckler rather than the meat of the speech itself.The Washington Post / Leonard Downie Jr. But the Obama administration’s steadily escalating war on leaks, the most militant I have seen since the Nixon administration, has disregarded the First Amendment and intimidated a growing number of government sources of information — most of which would not be classified — that is vital for journalists to hold leaders accountable. Read more

Morning Media Newsfeed: Gov’t Defends AP Snoop | Apple Denies Collusion | Sambolin Has Cancer


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Justice Dept. Defends Seizure of AP Phone Records (NYT)
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday defended the Justice Department’s sweeping seizure of telephone records of Associated Press journalists, describing the article by the AP that prompted a criminal investigation as among “the top two or three most serious leaks that I’ve ever seen” in a 35-year career. “It put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole,” he said in an apparent reference to an article on May 7, 2012, that disclosed the foiling of a terrorist plot by Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen to bomb an airliner. The Washington Post / Opinions The usual reason for keeping a subpoena secret is that the target would otherwise try to destroy documents. In this case, the AP could not have done so even if it wanted to, since the relevant records were in the possession of its phone service providers. Without even giving AP a chance to weigh in, we don’t see how the department could intelligently weigh its prosecutorial needs against this broad subpoena’s chilling effect on reporters and their sources. HuffPost / The Backstory Associated Press Washington bureau chief Sally Buzbee was among the journalists targeted in the Justice Department’s sweeping seizure of phone records that has drawn widespread condemnation from members of the media and free speech advocates, an AP spokeswoman confirmed to The Huffington Post. FishbowlNY The Department of Justice is trying to brush off the secret accessing of AP editors’ and reporters’ phone records. The agency already sent one bland letter to the AP about the incident, and Tuesday, it sent another. According to AP CEO and president Gary Pruitt, both letters from the DOJ basically said “Meh,” and not much else about the scary over-extension of the government. B&C Society of Professional Journalists president Sonny Albarado has condemned the Justice Department’s alleged secret collection of AP reporter and editor phone records and said it highlights the need for a federal shield law. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The Associated Press Media Editors Association has joined other journalists in condemning the Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press phone records, calling it part of the Obama administration’s “continuing witch hunt for leaks and whistleblowers.” TVNewser Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said this may be the least of President Obama’s worries. “I don’t think that’s going to amount to much,” O’Reilly said of the phone taps. “It looks like they went through the warrant process and they had authorization to look at these records — the Justice Department did. But President Obama, he’s got some problems now. He better start to get control of the situation because there’s a lot of stuff going on.” Read more

Morning Media Newsfeed: Gov’t Defends AP Snoop | Apple Denies Collusion | Sambolin Has Cancer


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Justice Dept. Defends Seizure of AP Phone Records (NYT)
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday defended the Justice Department’s sweeping seizure of telephone records of Associated Press journalists, describing the article by the AP that prompted a criminal investigation as among “the top two or three most serious leaks that I’ve ever seen” in a 35-year career. “It put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole,” he said in an apparent reference to an article on May 7, 2012, that disclosed the foiling of a terrorist plot by Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen to bomb an airliner. The Washington Post / Opinions The usual reason for keeping a subpoena secret is that the target would otherwise try to destroy documents. In this case, the AP could not have done so even if it wanted to, since the relevant records were in the possession of its phone service providers. Without even giving AP a chance to weigh in, we don’t see how the department could intelligently weigh its prosecutorial needs against this broad subpoena’s chilling effect on reporters and their sources. HuffPost / The Backstory Associated Press Washington bureau chief Sally Buzbee was among the journalists targeted in the Justice Department’s sweeping seizure of phone records that has drawn widespread condemnation from members of the media and free speech advocates, an AP spokeswoman confirmed to The Huffington Post. FishbowlNY The Department of Justice is trying to brush off the secret accessing of AP editors’ and reporters’ phone records. The agency already sent one bland letter to the AP about the incident, and Tuesday, it sent another. According to AP CEO and president Gary Pruitt, both letters from the DOJ basically said “Meh,” and not much else about the scary over-extension of the government. B&C Society of Professional Journalists president Sonny Albarado has condemned the Justice Department’s alleged secret collection of AP reporter and editor phone records and said it highlights the need for a federal shield law. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The Associated Press Media Editors Association has joined other journalists in condemning the Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press phone records, calling it part of the Obama administration’s “continuing witch hunt for leaks and whistleblowers.” TVNewser Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said this may be the least of President Obama’s worries. “I don’t think that’s going to amount to much,” O’Reilly said of the phone taps. “It looks like they went through the warrant process and they had authorization to look at these records — the Justice Department did. But President Obama, he’s got some problems now. He better start to get control of the situation because there’s a lot of stuff going on.”

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The Osama Bin Laden Death Story’s Flawed Spin Job

Is the media to blame here, or the White House?

There has been a great deal of back-pedaling and rewriting and general muddling of the story of Osama bin Laden‘s death since it was first announced by President Obama on Sunday night. And everyone’s been looking the worse for it.

The Wrap provides a summary of the events:

  1. Sunday, May 1, 11:30 p.m. | President Obama Addresses the Nation, in Which We Learn of a “Firefight”
  2. Monday, May 2, 2:00 p.m. | John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Introduces “Human Shield” Myth
  3. Tuesday, May 3, 1:57 p.m.| White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Bin Laden Was Unarmed, But Dangerous”
  4. Tuesday, May 3, 7:00 p.m.| CIA director Leon Panetta Says Bin Laden May Not Have Had a Gun, But Made “Threatening Moves”
  5. Tuesday, May 3, 8:27 p.m| Unnamed Senior Congressional Aide, Says Bin Laden Surrender Would Have Had to Take Place in the Nude (seriously)
  6. Wednesday, May 4 | U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Says All It Takes for Self-Defense Is No Surrender
  7. Wednesday, May 4 | The New York Times Reports There Wasn’t A Whole Lotta Shooting Going On in Abbottabad
  8. Thursday May 5|  Press Secretary Carney: Accuracy Was Another Casualty

Phew! It’s difficult to keep up. As The Wrap says, “Carney told the media that the administration was still in the process of cobbling together all the facts.”

Take a little time on this one, administration. Maybe do some fact-checking this time around. We’re in no hurry.

Joan Collins, Dennis Basso And The Media Mob

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The biblical rain didn’t keep the crowds away from Michael’s today. The media mavens were networking at warp speed (Bonnie Fuller, we mean you) while the social swans and style set enjoyed their usual air-kissed filled leisurely lunches.

Oh, to have a rich husband (or good divorce attorney) and deep-pocketed clients. We can dream, can’t we?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Fidelis Global’s Gerry Byrne and Hollywoodlife.com‘s Bonnie Fuller jointly hosting what Gerry tells me is the first of a series’ of  lunches with “influencers.” The tastemakers at the table today were HL’s CRO Alyson Racer, Showtime’s main man Matt BlankCosmopolitan’s Donna Lagani, Caroline Hirsch, MediaLink’s Wenda Millard and Marie Claire’s fashion director, Nina Garcia.

2. Alexis Carrington lives! Joan Collins, sporting an ensemble that would have passed muster at the royal wedding, with husband Percy Gibson, producer Terry Allen Kramer and Joyce Rubin.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Men’s Health head honcho David Zinczenko. This was Joe’s second lunch at Michael’s this week. On Monday, he came by with his sister Marilyn Spence and her husband Don who were  in visiting from Plano, Texas. The trio, I’m told, had a grand old time.

4.  Peter Brown and Liz Smith, looking none the worse for wear from a recent hip injury. The indomitable Liz, who got plenty of hugs from her pals in the dining room,  dished with fellow Texan Joe Armstrong until Peter arrived.

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