Well, at least according to Fox news, and of course the media darlings of the far right (WND, CNSnews, breitbart, the washington times, daily caller, et al).
But are they? OR is this just classic, quality investigative journalism? (well sure, it’s easy enough to understand why the media sourcces listed above would know nothing of quality investigative journalism…)
Several of americas top investigative journalists have gone on record with doubts that the recent stories were the result of leaks.
Washington Post writer Walter Pincus, in relation to the “cyberattack” stories by NYTimes David Sanger, (who has been investigating such things for a couple years for his recent book “Confront and Conceal: Obamas secret wars and surprising use of american power”) has said:
“This is normal,” said Walter Pincus, the veteran Washington Post investigative reporter. “The thing that is most normal about it is that look at Sanger’s stuff, somebody’s writing a book, Bob [Woodward] does it all the time. If you’re writing a book and nothing is going to appear the next day and you keep going back and back and take a little bit here and a little bit there, that’s how you put these things together.”
Likewise two time pultizer prize winner for investigative journalism Dama Priest:
“At some point, if the reporter and the paper is mature about what they are doing, they realize that national security reporting is a serious thing and they must try to engage the administration. But it is rare in my experience that the government adds anything of significance, it mainly tries to subtract things. That is their role.” … “That is what this looks like, classic investigative reporting,” Priest said in an interview. “Talk about the reporters who are on these stories, they are all veteran investigative reporters. They don’t do their work by sucking up to politicians in the hopes they will leak them some things. They do the investigative work. I don’t know if people outside understand that.”
Robert Rosenthal of the center for investigative journalism has said:
“If this came out of nowhere in the last month, I think it would be a lot more suspicious. I think it has become a political issue now, you are in a presidential campaign.”…”I personally don’t think it is a ‘leak’ leak, it is drips and drips that have been going on since before the Obama Administration took office,” “It has been drips and drips in the global media.”
Manny Garcia, president of investigative reporters and editors says:
“When I first read this and started going through the stories, my personal view on this thing is this is the normal part, the normal dance that occurs between administrations and government agencies and the press and advocates on whatever side of the issue,” “We have been in situations here, especially dealing with the Justice Department on investigations where we have had U.S. attorneys who reach out and want to open up an investigation into leaks to the Herald, and at least in cases I have been involved in they view it as a leak when it is just good reporting.”
And several more leading journalists and pulitizer prize winners have made similar remarks.
They have also critisized claims these leaks are similar to the Bush era “valerie Plame” affair. Saying that that leak was a vindictive and targeted leak. And that ultimately, the decision to use any leaked material, no matter how small or unintentional, boils down not to “getting a scoop”, but, in the words of Tom Fielder, whether the information contributes to an “informed citizenry” that our democracy depends on.
Time will tell, maybe, what happened here. But for the time being we are simply seeing more of the “obama is guilty” because…well, he’s Obama and we don’t like him” mentality.