The Associated Press, and much of the press that has a relationship with it, is reacting with a rather disturbing bit of righteous indignation in the revelation that the U.S. Department Of Justice secret seizure of Associated Press telephone records.
The question is why did the DOJ feel it necessary to take such action against the AP?
From the preliminary looks of this, it’s much like investigations into News Corporation’s phone hacking claims.
Remember, Operation Elveden? That was where New Scotland Yard investigated claims of bribery of public officials by journalists with News Corporation. The result was the arrest of 100 people, some still in jail.
In that case, New Scotland Yard police became so imbedded in the operation of News Corporation, that the firm’s lawyers contended that press freedoms were being subverted. In that case, it was found that the actions of a few journalists poisoned the water for all.
Let’s hope that wasn’t the case with the Associated Press, but I am concerned that the AP’s reaction is not one of cooperation.
Let’s hope the Associated Press doesn’t go the way of News Corporation, and that’s another way of saying let’s hope the AP doesn’t have something to hide in the way of behavior that was a breach of national security.
The best action for the AP is to send a message of cooperation, not indignation.
No one is above the law, even as the AP would certainly be within its right to suggest that there may be an abuse of the law. Given that the words “national security” have been introduced, this is way above the News Corporation matter.