It’s fair to say the U.S. attorney firings scandal turned out to be a pretty big deal. It contributed to Alberto Gonzales’ resignation as Attorney General, and triggered an ongoing criminal investigation.
But based on those newly released documents, John Solomon’s take was pretty much: what’s the big deal?
In March 2007, about a month and a half after the firings became public knowledge, Solomon — then a reporter for the Washington Post, and now the editor of the Washington Times — emailed DOJ press aide Brian Roehrkasse, asking for information that would “bring some perspective to how the process occurred.
Of course, the White House counsel’s office had to sign off. Of course, an administration in its last two years looks for some fresh blood to inject into jobs. Of course, DOJ’s analysis of prosecutors goes beyond performance evaluations to achievements or failures on policy issues like immigration.
I think we can get this just right with your help.
Of course, Solomon was seeking information from a source, so a certain amount of sycophancy might have been a smart move. But he seems to be saying flat-out that he accepts just about every premise of the administration’s defense on the story.
A few days later, Roehrkasse and Dana Perino emailed each other about a New York Times story on the firings. Perino, referring to Solomon’s story for the Post, written with Dan Eggen, wrote: “the wp was much better than this.”
I know….which is change consider (sic) the post coverage with eggen has been so bad. But the post brings in john solomon and becomes far more fair in their coverage and the times brings in eric lipton and becomes far worse.
Here’s a rule of thumb for reporters: if Bush press aides think you’re doing a good job, you might want to rethink your approach.