Let's see what particular litany of Obama administration scandals we're up to, now:
- IRS targeting of Tea Party/conservative/Jewish/??? groups
- IRS leaking confidential info to liberal groups
- EPA fee politicism
- Snooping on AP reporters to find leak source
- (added later) Sebelius shaking down companies in health biz to implement Obamacare (can't believe I forgot that one)
That's the ones of which I'm aware are currently "hot". I'm not even touching "old" scandals like Pigford and Fast & Furious.
I bolded one scandal: the snooping on the AP. What's interesting about that one is that it is possible that the particular actions not only are totally legal, but also ethical (for a pretty good definition of ethics).
But a different picture emerges if you look past the AP’s spin. DOJ is investigating a leak of national security information to AP reporters that culminated in a May 7, 2012 story that disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped a terrorist plot in early 2012. The story had the byline of five AP reporters. DOJ opened an investigation into the leak to the AP, and pursuant to itspublished special rules on investigations involving the media investigations, issued subpoenas to find out what numbers were dialed from the relevant AP reporters during the months of April and May 2012. Presumably the thinking is that AP reporters called their sources, and the investigators want to trace the phone numbers to see who the sources might be. As far as I can tell, the information collected by the subpoena concerned the work and personal phone numbers of the five reporters and their editor, as well as the general AP office numbers where the reporters were located and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery. The AP knows about this because pursuant to DOJ’s policies found in 28 C.F.R. 50.10, the government was required to give the AP notice that the records were obtained. The AP received that notice in a letter on Friday, and then today (Monday) it released its AP story expressing AP’s outrage. That’s pretty much all we know so far.
Based on what we know so far, then, I don’t see much evidence of an abuse.
As Orin Kerr notes, perhaps there's more to it, but you know what? I don't think it matters.
Because the ultimate result may be to light a fire under the media's asses.
And no, while in Benghazi the issue is primarily one of cover-up after colossal screw-ups to begin with, that's not the case with most of these scandals. The scandals are that they did them in the first place… WHICH THEY'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOING.
Thing is, the media have been coming up with all sorts of excuses for this behavior, about how it was only right to investigate Tea Party applications as clearly they're not in the "social welfare" biz. That sort of crap.
But now, it's all changed. They'd been betrayed.
It's like the girlfriend of an asshole, who keeps excusing all the assholish things her guy has done – "Oh, it's okay that he stiffed that customer, the bitch deserved it", "Yeah, he's mean to his dad, but he is insufferable" ….. "Wait… he =cheated= on me? He cheated on ME?!?!?! SON OF A BITCH MUST PAY!"
So now the media hungers for blood after they find themselves the target. Sure, FoxNews being targeted is just fine, but the AP?! How dare he! How dare they all! We'll show them!
I bet if they work their investigative muscles, wasted on so many dead ends in the Bush years, they might just be able to dig up something new. I don't know what, but I bet there's loads of juicy stories just waiting to be had.
In the meantime, I'm playing "trying to avoid an audit" and seeing how my draft picks are doing. I have a great feeling about "bad management processes" and "inadequate staffing due to Republican intransigence".
RELATED: Treacher thanks the media for noticing what conservatives have noticed since Obama came on the scene. He basically makes the same point as I do.
HEY WAIT: Maybe here's a new IRS scandal: accessing a shitload of health care records for… wtf reason, I have no clue.
AND NOW: Steven den Beste on the Enabler Media:
This week's dam burst of negative news may make an end to it. It's just too big. They can't ignore it, and despite their best attempts they can't tamp it down. Will this be the end of the protective press?
Probably not, but it may be too big for them to fight, even though I expect they still will try. Obama's legacy is now toast, and when Obamacare implementation gets botched it's only going to get worse.