When you lose the New York Times . . .

Once upon a time, you could count on the New York Times to have President Obama’s back no matter what what he or members of his administration did.

Not anymore.

In its 14 May 2012 edition, the New York Times published an editorial that starts with the following statement:

The Obama administration, which has a chilling zeal for investigating leaks and prosecuting leakers, has failed to offer a credible justification for secretly combing through the phone records of reporters and editors at The Associated Press in what looks like a fishing expedition for sources and an effort to frighten off whistle-blowers.

Further down, the editorial states the following:

. . . Mr. Holder and Mr. Cole declared their commitment — and that of President Obama — to press freedoms. Mr. Cole said the administration does not “take lightly” such secretive trolling through media records.

We are not convinced.  For more than 30 years, the news media and the government have used a well-honed system to balance the government’s need to pursue criminals or national security breaches with the media’s constitutional right to inform the public. This action against The A.P., as the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press outlined in a letter to Mr. Holder, “calls into question the very integrity” of the administration’s policy toward the press.

You know that you are in trouble when you are a liberal Democrat, and not even the New York Times believes your spin.

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  • That’ll leave a mark…. for a few minutes.

    I’d think they were finally getting a hint that not all is as they’d want to believe – but they’re well-practiced at not seeing what they don’t want to see, so that’s probably not going to happen.

    Instead we’ll see a few articles of this type which can be pointed to later as ass-cover, and they’ll shove it down the memory hole hard.

    • Jwb10001

      At this point the situation is getting so bad that liberal ideas may start to come into question. The press is likely setting up a flawed president vs failed ideas scenario. If things get too far out of hand all this may rub off on the democrats and liberals and they don’t want that to happen.

      • jim_m

        Yeah. I can’t wait to hear what they say about this one:

        The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.

        According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.

        The suit asks for $25,000 per patient, that’s $250 Billion in damages. One wonders what the obama admin wanted with the health records of all California judges.

        You have to like this part of the complaint:

        “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,”

        • Hank_M

          What an unbelievable story! A real WTF?

        • All of a sudden the Fair Tax proposal’s looking better and better…


          We need taxes to run the country – but there’s no excuse possible for using the IRS to go after dissenting political groups.

        • herddog505

          What is this “warrant” thing of which you speak?

          — E. Holder

      • Commander_Chico

        I don’t see how authoritarian practices have anything to do with what was American liberalism, just as I don’t see how they were congruent with ideas of limited government conservatism. But Hubert Humphrey, Allard Lowenstein, Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater are all dead.

        Somehow authoritarianism seems to gain ground through both parties and both “liberal” and “conservative” ideologies. Wasn’t Holder legally enabled by the “Patriot” Act, another Orwellian construction?

        The future of the USA is going to be something like Singapore or worse, Russia or China. This is because your masters will it.

        • jim_m

          Shorter Pvt Pyle: It’s Bush’s fault.

          • None so blind as the soi disant cognoscenti veterans…

          • Rdmurphy42

            What I still want to figure out is how is going to work in Israel being behind it. Because he will somehow.

        • herddog505

          Yes, because this has all happened before. Why, Bush was siccing the IRS on liberal groups, Clinton was secretly getting reporters’ phone records, Bush Classic had his SecHHS (ahem) “soliciting” donations from pharm and health care companies, Reagan threw unknown filmmakers into prison, etc., etc.

          Oh, wait…

          Typical liberal tu quo que: get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, and suddenly “EVERYBODY does it”.

          I wonder if it’s ever occurred to you that this TEH OLIGARCHY thing you believe in is nothing more than a racket – a Goldstein, if you will – conjured by your fellow travelers to fool people like you. Maybe you should give that some thought.

          • Commander_Chico

            Read this, and consider the facts therein. Ron Unz says it better than I could.


          • herddog505

            Sorry; what’s your point? That MiniTru is biased and that reporters aren’t the sharpest tacks in the box comes as no surprise to me, and I’d wager that these things are no surprise to anybody else here.

            How does this tie into TEH OLIGARCHY and our “masters”?

          • Commander_Chico

            Well, when a Russian “oligarch” wants to use our system, you can infer the presence of an oligarchy.

            Didn’t you read this?

            A likely reason for this wall of uninterest on so many important issues is that the disasters involved are often bipartisan in nature, with both Democrats and Republicans being culpable and therefore equally eager to hide their mistakes. Perhaps in the famous words of Benjamin Franklin, they realize that they must all hang together or they will surely all hang separately.

            We always ridicule the 98 percent voter support that dictatorships frequently achieve in their elections and plebiscites, yet perhaps those secret-ballot results may sometimes be approximately correct, produced by the sort of overwhelming media control that leads voters to assume there is no possible alternative to the existing regime. Is such an undemocratic situation really so different from that found in our own country, in which our two major parties agree on such a broad range of controversial issues and, being backed by total media dominance, routinely split 98 percent of the vote? A democracy may provide voters with a choice, but that choice is largely determined by the information citizens receive from their media.

            Most of the Americans who elected Barack Obama in 2008 intended their vote as a total repudiation of the policies and personnel of the preceding George W. Bush administration. Yet once in office, Obama’s crucial selections—Robert Gates at Defense, Timothy Geither at Treasury, and Ben Bernake at the Federal Reserve—were all top Bush officials, and they seamlessly continued the unpopular financial bailouts and foreign wars begun by his predecessor, producing what amounted to a third Bush term.

            Consider the fascinating perspective of the recently deceased Boris Berezovsky, once the most powerful of the Russian oligarchs and the puppet master behind President Boris Yeltsin during the late 1990s. After looting billions in national wealth and elevating Vladimir Putin to the presidency, he overreached himself and eventually went into exile. According to the New York Times, he had planned to transform Russia into a fake two-party state—one social-democratic and one neoconservative—in which heated public battles would be fought on divisive, symbolic issues, while behind the scenes both parties would actually be controlled by the same ruling elites. With the citizenry thus permanently divided and popular dissatisfaction safely channeled into meaningless dead-ends, Russia’s rulers could maintain unlimited wealth and power for themselves, with little threat to their reign. Given America’s history over the last couple of decades, perhaps we can guess where Berezovsky got his idea for such a clever political scheme.

          • herddog505

            Again, where is TEH OLIGARCHY?

            All you are describing is:

            — People in the media are stupid and often corrupt, so they either miss stories or (ahem) shade them to protect “their side”;

            — People in politics are stupid and very corrupt, so they usually have their hand in the cookie jar and thus aren’t too interested in making laws against that sort of thing.

            But let’s get back to the original issue: Barry apparently has the IRS out there giving (ahem) extra scrutiny to groups that just so happen not to agree with him and democrats. This is pretty much unprecedented, something we’ve always known COULD happen but really HASN’T. Your reaction?

            “Everybody does it! TEH OLIGARCHY!”

            Can you not just admit that, on the face of it, Barry has been a very, very bad boy and we really need to get to the bottom of it? Or, fervent Gary Nash supporter that you are, must you continue to run interference for Barry by blaming TEH OLIGARCHY, Bush, Reagan, Iran and everybody else BUT Barry?

        • Jwb10001

          Chico, conservatives (not republicans, conservatives) believe in less government, you know like a flat tax and no IRS, less government less authoritarian. See if you have no IRS you eliminate one of the best strong arm parts of government making it much more difficult to pressure and intimidate people. Big government with more power more temptation to use that power. To quote my buddy Bruce, it’s not that hard.

          • Commander_Chico

            Wouldn’t you need an IRS to collect a flat tax, a VAT, or any other federal tax?

            The problem now is that “anti-terrorism” along with tax collection measures impede all kinds of lawful commerce. for example, it is getting almost impossible for a US citizen to open a bank account overseas. Soon they will be imposing capital and foreign exchange controls. Bad enough you can’t carry cash outside the country or have a cash transaction in the now-paltry sum of $10,000 without reporting it to the government.

            Talk about mission creep – the $10,000 amount for reporting was enacted in 1970 – $10,000 then was worth about $60,000 now, but the amount has not been indexed for inflation.

            Of course, with the coming use of e-money and the eventual abolition of cash, every damn transaction will be reported to the government, just like all of our phone calls and emails are saved.

          • jim_m

            While you would need some organization to collect and process the revenue from a VAT or a flat tax, there would be dramatically reduced opportunity for all the byzantine rules that we currently have. The mysteries of having to interpret these rules would go away and much of the terror inducing influence of the IRS would be lost.

            You also eliminate the many carve outs for special interest that the current tax code contains. Eliminate the possibility of favoritism in the application and interpretation of the rules and you take away their power.

          • Commander_Chico

            Great, how do you propose to manage the effect on housing prices that the end of the mortgage interest deduction would have? And the cascade effect on savings and consumption?

            Being somewhat conservative, I do not favor radical changes.

          • jim_m

            I was not the one favoring a VAT. I actually do not support it. I do support a flat tax and there may be a way to preserve the mortgage deduction in that. I do not think that a totally flat tax is possible currently.

            I think you are correct that the mortgage deduction is a very powerful tool to stimulate the housing market and that market has cascading effects on other markets.

          • Jwb10001

            I don’t know Chico but I know if the tax code wasn’t filled with loop holes and traps and wasn’t a gazillion pages long you wouldn’t have the opportunity to use the IRS to threaten people and be the enforcement arm of the federal government authoritarians.

        • Constitution First

          That should read: “Progressive” not “Liberal” there hasn’t been a Liberal in Washington since Jack Kennedy.

      • “At this point the situation is getting so bad that liberal ideas may start to come into question.”

        It’s getting worse. Now they’re admitting they got phone records of the House of Representatives. And the media is apparently getting pretty pissed. I don’t think this is going to go away quickly.

        Well, I think it’s going to be an unfortunately interesting summer. I wonder how long President Biden’s going to last?

    • Constitution First

      Just so we’re straight here, the same rats who demonized every effort to vet Barry by calling us racist and bigots, who turned a blind eye to Black Liberation Theology and Bill Ayers, who weren’t even a tiny bit curious not one Columbia student or staff member could remember ever seeing Barry… now suddenly find religion now that their ox has been gored! You’re five years too late and six trillion dollars short, aye-holes. I’ll never trust a word from the Malfeasant Media again as long as I live.

  • Joe_Miller

    All I’ve been hearing all morning is that Holder is going to be grilled today. Does he taste like chicken?

  • Oysteria

    “For more than 30 years, the news media and the government have used a well-honed system to balance the government’s need to pursue criminals or national security breaches with the media’s constitutional right to inform the public.”
    hahahahahaha! Oh, that wasn’t a joke? Coming from the New York Times I thought surely they were making a funny.

  • herddog505

    Perhaps I missed it, but DID DoJ get warrants?

    And does anybody remember when “warrantless wiretaps” were the worst thing since Jim Crow? Now, Time is wondering on its front cover if – gee whiz – we just MIGHT need to give up SOME of our privacy. For national security, you understand.