Lesson in how the administration attempts to manipulate the press and news coverage: Fast and Furious email to Attorney General Eric Holder from a communications adviser, Oct. 5, 2011 [emphasis added below]. (President Obama withheld this email under executive privilege but it was recently released as a result of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the Justice Department).
Matthew Miller to Attorney General Holder:
1. Send a letter to the Hill explaining what happened. Put in context the amount of information you get every week, say that you don’t recall reading those bullets or being aware of Fast and Furious at any time before early this year, but in any event, you certainly weren’t aware of the gun walking aspect of it until the news broke earlier this year (at which point you took immediate steps to have the IG investigate, etc.). This needs to happen tomorrow. In fact, it should’ve happened today. The last time your credibility was directly questioned was whether you had disclosed all of your amicus briefs — the story started to break on a Thursday night, and we made people stay up all night compiling information so we could get a response out by 1 pm or so on Friday.[Note: Pete Yost of AP wrote article on Bush-era gunwalking case that seemed to so impress Holder, he wrote ” WOW!” p. 539 AP presented the story as if it were “new” although I had published on the case, Wide Receiver, months earlier, with an exclusive interview with a confidential informant from the case.]
2. Find a way for you to get in front of a reporter or two about this. You don’t want to call a press conference on this because it will blow things out perspective, but if you have any events in the next few days (preferably tomorrow), you could find a way to take two or three questions on it afterwards. Or if that’s not easily doable, you could find a way to “run into” a couple of reporters on your way to something. Maybe Pete Williams, Carrie, Pete Yost — that
part can be managed. Most important is that you’re in front of a camera in a relaxed manner giving a response you have rehearsed…It would be ideal if those two things happened in the same day so you didn’t have two news cycles of responding — you want to do it all at once. There may be things you need to do to go on offense as well, but I think most important right now is that you answer the charge about covering this up. Then you can move to offense.
It’s really pathetic that the only reason this isn’t big news is that there are so many bad stories about Obama every day, week, month and year.