NYT, AP Boycott Holder's Off-Record Media Powwow

Meeting 'isn't appropriate' as outlets 'aggressively covering' scandal

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 30, 2013 7:32 AM CDT | Updated May 30, 2013 7:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Eric Holder just wants to talk to reporters, without worrying about any pesky reporting. The attorney general has called an off-the-record meeting with the Washington bureau chiefs of several major media outlets to discuss the Justice Department's handling of leak investigations, but two of the most major—the AP and the New York Times—say the "off-the-record" part is a deal-breaker. That kind of heart-to-heart "isn't appropriate" given that the paper "is aggressively covering the department's handling of leak investigations," the Times' executive editor tells the Huffington Post.

"We believe the meeting should be on the record, and we have said that to the attorney general's office," an AP spokesperson agreed. Other news outlets are likely to follow the Times' and AP's lead; the Huffington Post, for instance, also won't be attending. DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse lashed out against that trend on Twitter, saying that refusing to meet with Holder "kind of forfeits your right to gripe," drawing incredulous reactions from reporters; Dylan Byers from Politico just responded, "Jesus, Brad."

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, before the House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on the Justice Department.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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