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I'm back here now we're awaiting a congressional hearing later today an IRS the first of several on tap this week my next guest says of all the scandals brewing for the White House.
The IRS matters most to this administration -- since the American people Wall Street Journal executive editor Gerri side also attended.
-- off the record meeting with attorney general Eric Holder.
Who is under fire for the Justice Department seizure of phone and email records from reporters at several media outlets including our own here at fox.
A controversy that even the executive editor for the New York Times says has impacted their news gathering ability right now listen to this exchange of one of the Sunday.
The reporters who worked for the times and Washington have told me that many of their sources are petrified and she even returned calls that was my next question you -- already at how.
-- apps -- real practical.
-- -- Now executive editor for the Wall Street Journal down in DCC -- are are you having the same experience are you hearing the same from your reporters that this has already affected news gathering.
Well I think it's.
And that way for a little while now and it varies from being a -- to beat reporter reporter but.
You know President Obama himself in the speech he gave last week about a new approach to the war on terror acknowledge that one of the things that is of concern here is that.
These kinds of things can have a chilling effect on the give and take between.
Reporters and their sources and -- -- impede the flow of information to the US people which is really well we all ought to be concerned about I mean.
Reporters you know where they have a hard time do their jobs or not is really not so important.
As the idea that what journalists do is is allow flow of information to the American people some of which the government likes to have -- -- of which the government doesn't like to have out.
-- ended the danger here in this kind of situation is that there's a chilling effect.
Says it has only been six of these leak investigations but the ripple effects of those six because they send signals to the bureaucracy.
Can be an awful lot wider than that.
There's been a lot of talk ironically about this off the record -- meeting with the attorney generals -- a move that Howard Jerry and was curious have you.
Had any sort of -- since that -- anything to look ahead -- more meetings to come as anyone contacted you since that time from the DOJ.
Yeah well first I would I would I would point out it wasn't really technically off the record there there we were able to report in did in fact the journal have a story the Washington Post had a story Politico has for those those -- were in the meeting.
Conveyed the information about what happened in that meeting by and large to our readers and two important things happen in my estimation anyway one was that.
Attorney general holder committed himself in the meeting to changing the guidelines the Justice Department uses for handling these kinds of investigations.
I mean implicit in that isn't there is a belief that fit the guidelines aren't really working the way they're supposed to do to protect journalists rights and that -- probably outdated.
And secondly that there there was a commitment to support a federal shield law -- natural law and up.
Protects journalists right.
To do their jobs without fearing that they're gonna go to jail to do that and that that was set at the meeting that was on the record we've publicized that I think it's important that the Justice Department is now.
On the record as having been committed to that and subsequent to that meeting.
There was another couple meetings on Friday with -- you.
Done these organizations bureau chiefs and and other editors from other news organizations beyond the ones -- -- in the meeting I attended.
And they're going to be more meetings this week of media lawyers.
And down the road probably with some academics and what the Justice Department has been ordered to do here by the president -- to come up with some kind of report on July by July 12 that explains.
How they're gonna change the process so that we don't get in the situation again we'll see if that -- can be achieved.
But that's what they've been ordered to.
Experience and real quick here frontier that may not be familiar as familiar with the work how long have you working journalism for.
I'm I'm about a thirty year veteran service.
There's a lot -- thing about.
Five of those years in Washington's I would do a lot of this I've got -- prior experience here because semi had the questions about why we actually need.
New lies now during this administration vs any time in the past several decades.
Well look there couple things that are -- want you know and by the way this this this push for a federal shield law transit it goes back further than this administration has been floating around for awhile it's never quite gotten that.
I think the big change though is the war on terrorism is traded.
New tensions and -- sensitivities and created new -- efforts by people in the bureaucracy to clampdown on information.
This is the very tension between the kind of a perpetual war on terror and civil liberties the President Obama himself referred to in his speech last week so.
That's I think the big new game that's changed the rules for everybody and and I think the government is now realize that they have to think hard about how they're gonna hand left.
Certainly -- our discussion on that.
And the next -- Loomis -- solitary just real quick as -- sets us up as well for our next segment where we're going to be talking more about the IRS despite.
The time that we just spend a little bit talking about the DOJ and all the different scandals you wrote in the paper that you still believe that the -- -- scandal.
Is the most important one not only for this administration -- for for the American public why do you believe that.
Well not because I think somebody in the White House ordered the IRS says it is to bear down on conservative groups and Tea Party groups that would be particularly stupid and and I don't think that's the way the system works I think though it's damaging for the administration because.
It has the effect of calling.
Into question in the minds of American people whether the government can be effective and impartial.
And not intrusive in carrying out all kinds of government programs and if you're -- precedent.
You know implementing.
-- -- -- the Affordable Care -- what people call obamacare or in saying the government can help solve problems like you know the energy independence or help save.
Auto makers and that government can do those jobs efficiently and effectively well.
This kind of scandal -- this kind of controversy calls into question in people's minds whether they can trust the government to do those sorts of things.
Effectively and not conclusively and that's what I think the long term issue was for the about it.
Ministry jet -- but they can't just leave it there it's corrosive what you're saying it to government overall regardless of party how do you reverse that what what what fixes that.
Well I think that's that's a really good question I think what probably fix is an overtime.
Is finding examples of when what in which the government has done something well -- -- you people are always gonna be suspicious of government but I think you probably do have to say over and over and I suspect you'll hear this presidents say that's a lot over the next three years.
I'm interest in activist government -- not big government on this president effective government not overarching government but the proof is in the putting -- I think.
There's going to be a long time in turning around perceptions that have been created by this particular scandal.
-- we record our conversations Jerry and appreciate the time thank you so much Sergio thanks.
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