News agencies belittled for attending off-the-record meeting with Justice Department about spying on reporters
Someone apparently hacked the Twitter feed and homepage of the White House press corps, the reporters who cover President Obama, and belittled some of them as "untrustworthy" for attending an off-the-record meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder about government spying on reporters.
Several reports in recent weeks have revealed that the Justice Department monitored reporters at The Associated Press and Fox News in an attempt to find the sources of leaks. Holder held the off-the-record meeting with news agencies Thursday to discuss the monitoring, which several news organizations refused to attend unless it was on the record.
But the hackers Friday morning called out five news organizations that did attend, calling them "UNTRUSTWORTHY."
"RESOLVED: Any Member of any 'News' Organization that met with AG Holder today is no longer to be trusted as a valid news source," the hacker wrote. "UNTRUSTWORTHY: New Yorker, Washington Post, Politico, New York Daily News, Wall Street Journal—attended Thursday's meeting with Holder."
Though the "off the record" status of the meeting meant attendees were not supposed to report on it, three of the five editors who attended disclosed what Holder (pictured) told them. They spoke to other journalists who gathered outside the Justice Department offices.
The three said Holder pledged to change the way the department handles investigations involving reporters and said it would not repeat the kinds of searches that have brought objections, according to Reuters.
"There was a commitment to change the department's guidelines for handling cases such as these and a renewed commitment to support a federal shield law for journalists," said Gerald Seib, Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal.
The Justice Department outraged reporters by searching AP phone records and email and phone records for Fox News' James Rosen — as well as using a government-issued ID badge to track Rosen's visits to the State Department. In addition, an FBI agent said in a 2010 affidavit that there was "probable cause to believe" that Rosen broke the law "as an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator."
Rosen has not been charged with any wrongdoing.