The multinational news agency revealed on Monday that the U.S. Department of Justice secretly obtained telephone communication records of Associated Press (AP) offices and reporters for a two-month period in 2012, describing the acts as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into news-gathering operations.
In protest to the extreme breach of journalistic privacy, the President and Chief Executive of AP Gary B. Pruitt sent a letter to Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States saying that there couldn’t be no justification whatsoever to extract communication information of a news agency without prior notice. Pruitt also demanded the DOJ to hand over the obtained phone records and burn all copies.
This whole controversy sort of reminds one of the political tyranny exercised by the Chinese communist government on its national media. Doesn’t it?
Journalists across the U.S. condemned the government’s move to snoop on the news agency and stealing confidential information. Following are the different reactions posted by different people from the media:
The Nixon comparisons write themselves bigstory.ap.org/article/govt-o…— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) May 13, 2013
The New York Times:
The Washington Post:
The Huffington Post:
Government no longer seems content with spying on Muslims, now will spy on white people who try to uncover story of govt spying on Muslims— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) May 13, 2013
I want the AP to get the first question at the next White House briefing, and for the question to be "dude, what the hell?"— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) May 13, 2013
Other writers and bloggers:
First the hacker, now the Department of Justice. It's obvious: an evil relative from @ap's village has paid a féticheur.— Teju Cole (@tejucole) May 13, 2013
37 Crazy Phone Calls AP Reporters Now Wish They Never Made— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) May 13, 2013
Fast & Furious....covertly stealing AP reporters phone records....how is Atty. General Eric Holder not out of a job? #JusticeDept ?— John Goodman (@JohnLGoodman) May 14, 2013
Referring to the recent wiretapping laws adopted by the Obama administration one Salon columnist rightfully posted:
Silly Obama - yes, the press is generally indifferent to presidents spying or wiretapping. But not when you DO IT TO REPORTERS#sillyobama— Blake Zeff (@blakezeff) May 13, 2013
This controversial move taken by the U.S. Department of Justice has made its role questionable in the eyes of people, especially journalists. Even if it wanted to extract information, it should’ve informed the news agency beforehand as per ethics. But it didn’t, and now it’s in trouble.
What do you have to say about the whole situation? Share your thoughts in the comments section.