News Orgs Not Thrilled About Meeting With Eric Holder

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


In his big national security speech last week, President Obama promised that Attorney General Eric Holder would meet with members of the press to “review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters.” Michael Calderone says this isn’t unusual:

When the press and government are battling over issues of access or press freedom, it’s common to bring in top Washington-based editors and executives in hopes of coming to a resolution.

I didn’t know this, actually, and I’m curious about how often meetings like this take place. Whatever the answer, it turns out that this one won’t include the New York Times, which says it “isn’t appropriate for us to attend an off the record meeting with the attorney general.” AP agrees. This suggests that past meetings like this have been on the record. Is there an old-timer out there who can give us the skinny on this?

In any case, here’s the interesting thing about whether this meeting is on or off the record: I doubt that it matters much to Holder. He’s basically asking for input into revised policies, not making news or committing himself to anything. But it might matter to the editors who attend. After all, if the meeting is on the record, they’re pretty constrained in what they can say. How likely is it that they can be candid if they know they’re speaking for public consumption? Not very, I’d guess.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate