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Covering Second Term Scandals

Benghazi, the AP phone taps and the IRS scandal. It’s been quite a few days for the Obama administration and the journalists who cover it.

  • On Benghazi: while the president believes “there’s no there, there,” CNN’s Jake Tapper got his hands on an email yesterday from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes (brother of CBS News president David Rhodes) written three days after the attack. It was a version of an email that Tapper’s former ABC News colleague Jonathan Karl reported on last Friday.
  • The Associated Press is not satisfied with Attorney General Eric Holder‘s statement on the breadth of phone tapping the news agency’s reporters were subjected to. Neither, for one, is the New York Times editorial board as well as dozens of other publishers, broadcasters and trade groups.
  • But the biggest scandal appears to be the IRS’s selective targeting of conservative organizations. It was the lead on the evening newscasts last night and two of the three morning shows today (“Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning”) and continues to be a hot topic on the cable news networks.

In a Behind the Curtain column, Politico’s Mike Allen and Jim VandHei write, “(T)he press, after years of being accused of being soft on Obama while being berated by West Wing aides on matters big and small, now has every incentive to be as ruthless as can be.”

Will they?

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