A very bad sign for Obama

Anne E. Marimow of the Washington Post alerts fellow MSMers and the public that the DoJ's AP scandal might be the tip of the iceberg, and that in spying on the press, the Justice Department "did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist." She offers readers "a rare glimpse into the inner workings of one such [leak] probe" with "striking similarities to a sweeping leaks investigation disclosed last week in which federal investigators obtained records over two months of more than 20 telephone lines assigned to the Associated Press."

The fact that the target was Fox News reporter James Rosen is not mentioned in the headline or in the leadparagraphs of the piece, as noted by Tim Graham of Newsbusters. The presentation chosen emphasizes that a journalist was the object of this treatment, and that the fact that it happened to be a Fox News employee in this particular case is of secondary interest.

Very interesting. It looks like the Washington Post is intent on mining the vein of Obama administration abuses. The paper that brought down Nixon is on the case.

Here is what Marimow's reporting dug up:

They used security badge access records to track the reporter's comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit. They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporter's personal e-mails.

Tim Graham s The Kim case began in June 2009, when Rosen reported for Fox online that U.S. intelligence officials were warning that North Korea was likely to respond to United Nations sanctions with more nuclear tests. The CIA had learned the information, Rosen wrote, from sources inside North Korea.

The story was published the same day that a top-secret report was made available within a small group inside the intelligence community, including Kim, who at the time was a State Department arms expert with security clearance. "FBI investigators used the security-badge data, phone records and e-mail exchanges to build a case that Kim shared the report with Rosen soon after receiving it, court records show."

As Rick Moran quips, by its own logic, the Obama administration which doesn't concede that Fox is a news organization shouldn't have cared what Rosen wrote. But of course, they care passionately, because Fox has been the only major media enterprise to break the protective cordon around Obama the rest of them enforced. And Fox has grown and prospered, while almost everyone else has been painfully shrinking.

But that cordon has now been breached, by none other than the paper immortalized by its Watergate role. A strong signal is being sent to other media, including the hyper-partisan New York Times.  Obama, who may have expected to remain invulnerable the way he was before the election, seems unable to adjust to the new reality.