1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Off the record with the AG

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by da man, May 31, 2013.

  1. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    This might be up for discussion on the politics board or elsewhere, but I wonder from a journalistic perspective what people here think of this:


    In the wake of the AP and Fox News scandal(s), Attorney General Eric Holder wants to meet with news organizations to discuss how Justice is handling and should handle its leak investigations with regard to the First Amendment and the reporting process. But several outlets, including the New York Times, AP, Reuters, CBS, CNN, Huffington Post and Fox News, have refused to join the meetings because Holder wants the discussion to be off the record. Other outlets (Washington Post, NY Daily News, New Yorker, Politico, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News) have agreed to the off-the-record meetings, saying news orgs and sources routinely talk off the record to set ground rules and discuss information, coverage and stories.

    Given the high profile of the case and the person initiating the discussion, should news orgs demand Holder go on the record about this? Or does it make sense to try to clear the air in an unguarded conversation, without the fear that what is said will wind up as a headline?
  2. It's idiotic for Holder or his advisers to think anything said to a group of news organizations would be kept from the public. It's idiotic for media organizations to agree to an "off the record" roundtable.
  3. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Really, how can a news organization obtain any benefit from an off-the-record conversation with a government official announced in advance by said official? It's one thing if Holder told a reporter something in confidence where his identity could be kept out of a story. This is not that.
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Yeah I have always wondered how they do an entire press conference/briefing as off-the-record. I suppose it's just a reflection (and not a good one) of the chummy politician/press relationship.

    Still, though -- even if it is standard operating procedure, these are hardly standard times for Eric Holder.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    At first I thought the thread title was "Off the record with IJAG"

    That would have had more fireworks.
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking these news orgs will agree to "off the record", then somehow magically find some leaks to this meeting and report them.
  7. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    ... thus leading to more governmental snooping and investigations.
  8. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Does anyone else see the incongruity of the same man who was bugging James Rosen's phone and snooping on his private e-mail -- under the guise that talking to confidential sources formed the basis of a "criminal conspiracy," now is dictating that media outlets can only hear what he has to say if they don't report it?

    Good on any outlet that laughed at him. Shame on anyone who shows up to listen to his BS.
  9. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    They could just give each other anonymous sourcing:

    " ... according to a high-level insider who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject."

    That would be fun.

    When the shit hits the fan: "Yeah, we did it. Wanna talk ethics?"
  10. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    A number of outlets basically told him, with good reason, to go fuck himself and didn't show up.
  11. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

  12. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Aren't these "off the record" and "on background" meetings pretty routine in Washington and have been for years? It's not like this is something new. Top officials have been doing interviews as "a high ranking government source" or other description for many years in many administrations.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page