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Criticized on Seizure of Records, White House Pushes News Media Shield Law (NYT)
Under fire over the Justice Department’s use of a broad subpoena to obtain calling records of Associated Press reporters in connection with a leak investigation, the Obama administration sought on Wednesday to revive legislation that would provide greater protections to reporters in keeping their sources and communications confidential. Capital New York The administration opposed an initial draft of the Free Flow of Information Act, but eventually supported a compromise version that would allow federal judges to protect reporters from subpoenas for information, if the judge determined that the news value of the reports exceeded the government’s interest in uncovering the sources of a leak. HuffPost / The Backstory New York Times reporter Charlie Savage asked Attorney General Eric Holder, who had just announced he’d recused himself from the AP leak investigation, “Are you also recused from the Stuxnet investigation out of Maryland?” The New York Times has reason to be concerned about whether investigators are using similar tactics on them. The Maryland case is believed to be focused on Times chief Washington correspondent David Sanger’s reporting on how the U.S. and Israel helped derail Iran’s nuclear program through cyberattacks. Sanger’s June scoop, along with the Times’ front-page article on Obama’s terrorist “kill list,” spurred Congressional calls to investigate the leaks of classified information. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Media Matters for America, a group that monitors the country’s conservative media for distortions and inaccuracies, fell in for criticism Wednesday over the Justice Department’s secret subpoena of the Associated Press’s phone records. Evidence of this Media Matters-Obama administration mindmeld? This piece here, which says: “If the press compromised active counter-terror operations for a story that only tipped off the terrorists, that sounds like it should be investigated.” The Daily Beast / Politics Beast David Brock explained all in a statement. “Media Matters for America monitors, analyzes, and corrects conservative misinformation in the media and was not involved with the production of the document focusing on the DOJs investigation,” he said. “That document was issued by ‘Message Matters,’ a project of the Media Matters Action Network, which posts, through a different editorial process and to a different website, a wide range of potential messaging products for progressive talkers to win public debates with conservatives.”
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