How long it would have taken from the time of its exposure for the press to have prominently reported on an email sent from the the Bush 43 White House to its Justice Department asking, "Any way we can fix the New York Times?" We can be confident that it would have taken less than a New York minute, and that saturation coverage would have continued for days.
Well, one revelation in a series of Saturday tweets by former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, one of only a very few establishment press journalists who did serious reporting on the Department of Justice's Operation Fast & Furious Mexican gun-running operations beginning in 2011, is that the Obama administration was considering what it could do to "fix" another news operation.
Attkisson's tweets arose from a review of over 10,000 Fast and Furious-related emails covering over 40,000 pages pried out the Obama administration by watchdog group Judicial Watch after years of stonewalling which ultimately resulted in a court order.
Here's the news organization-targeting tweet Attkisson posted yesterday:
More context is at Attkisson's related post at her web site, including obvious and successful strong-arming of several news outlets and continued administration stonewalling (bolds are mine):
Docs: Adviser Tells Attorney General Holder How to Manipulate Press on Fast & Furious
... p. 522
[DOJ's Tracy Schmaler discusses with White House's Eric Schultz on how to spin the press Oct. 4, 2014]
“I’ve talked to NYT, NBC and NPR —gave them all this. NBC not likely to go. Still waiting on other two.”
[Schultz to Schmaler]
Any way we can fix Fox?
[Schmaler to Schultz regarding my reporting on Fast and Furious] “No stories..From NYT, AP, Reuters, WaPo, NBC, Bloomberg … I”m also calling Sharryl”s editor and reaching out to Scheiffer. She’s out of control”
[Schultz to Schmaler] “Good. Her piece was really bad for AG. Why do you think nobody else wrote? Were they not fed the docs?…And I sent NJ’s Susan Davis your way. She’s writing on Issa/FandF and I said you could load her up on the leaks, etc.”
[Schmaler compliments Washington Post "Sari" Horwitz to Holder] “Sari (WaPo reporter) was good – pointed out Issa previous briefing, that weekly reports didn’t reveal tactics and noted previous op in Bush Admin.”
There's more material which may become fodder for future posts, but for now, note how intense the White House and DOJ attempts to manage and intimidate the press were — and how willing most of the fourth estate's members apparently were to go along.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.