Friday, August 16, 2013

White House Tried to Rewrite Interview NSA Gave to Washington Post

Here's a must-read companion piece to what I posted earlier this morning. From Slate: 

White House Tried to Rewrite an Entire Interview the NSA Gave to the Washington Post

Apparently reporter Barton Gellman asked the White House to respond to the Washington Post's story. Slate picks it up:
. . . the administration directed all questions to John DeLong, NSA's director of compliance, who then proceeded to speak with Gellman at length—albeit with some pre-established conditions—about the internal audit given to the paper by Edward Snowden. DeLong, in the paper's words, "answered questions freely in a 90-minute interview," with the agreement that he could be quoted by name and title on at least some of his answers. But following the interview, and before the story went live, the White House stepped in and more or less redacted the entire interview. Instead, the administration offered a prepared statement to be attributed to DeLong—written remarks that the Post refused to run in its main story.
That's right, the Obama admin handed the Post an "approved" story and expected to get it published.

Then again, given how often the media play stenographer and just print regurgitated versions of official press releases, I guess the White House thought it had a good shot at getting what it wanted.