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Major media outlets, Catholic Online will not meet with Eric Holder

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 30th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Several major media outlets are refusing to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder for an off the record meeting to discuss how investigations into leaks should be handled. Representatives for major news outlets say they will not attend a meeting unless it is an open discussion.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Several major media outlets have been invited to meet with the Attorney General to discuss guidelines for investigations into media leaks.

However, several organizations have responded to the invitation, saying they will not attend.

The Associated Press, which bore the brunt of Holder's investigation with hundreds of records seized, issued this statement: "If it is not on the record, AP will not attend and instead will offer our views on how the regulations should be updated in an open letter." Erin Madigan White, the Ap's media relation manager issued that statement.

The New York Times echoed the same sentiment. Executive editor, Jill Abramson said, "It isn't appropriate for us to attend an off-the-record meeting with the attorney general."

CNN said they would only participate if the meeting was on the record.

The Huffington Post declined, with its Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim saying, "A conversation specifically about the freedom of the press should be an open one. We have a responsibility not to betray that."

An area representative for Catholic Online is not attending either.

However, there was one dissent. John Harris, editor-in-chief for Politico said they would attend. "As editor-in-chief, I routinely have off-the-record conversations with people who have questions or grievances about our coverage or our newsgathering practices. I feel anyone - whether an official or ordinary reader - should be able to have an unguarded conversation with someone in a position of accountability for a news organization when there is good reason," Harris said.

The Justice Department wants the meeting to be off the record to encourage a full exchange of ideas. However, the media refusal suggests the depth of mistrust the Obama administration and Eric Holder has cultivated by means of aggressive media suppression tactics.

The meetings are set to be held on Thursday and Friday.

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