An Itty Bitty Pity Party for the Associated Press

Perhaps the AP’s sudden inclusion in the ranks of spied-upon journalists will inspire it to more truthfully and factually inform the American people about what has been happening to our country right under its nose.


wiretapping main(Photo: jeffschuler / flickr)Gary Pruitt, President and CEO of the Associated Press, rose up raging on Monday afternoon and threw a bag of live rats over the White House fence. To wit:

The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters , general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.

In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.

. . .

The government would not say why it sought the records.

. . .

The letter notifying AP that its phone records had been obtained though subpoenaswas sent Friday by Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney in Washington.

(Emphasis added)

The AP wire release of this report was followed by the letter Pruitt posted to Eric Holder and the Department of Justice, in which he stridently protested the surveillance of dozens of journalists in at least three cities who were working on any number of stories:

 I am writing to object in the strongest possible terms to a massive and unprecedented intrusion by the Department of Justice into the newsgathering activities of The Associated Press….



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