You may also remember that back in 2009, the administration was so preoccupied with Fox News (the only news network one could reasonably call the opposition) that top-ranking administration officials -- including Anita Dunn, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod -- made a concerted effort to delegitimize its coverage. This was also unprecedented. Not long after that effort, Attorney General Eric Holder decided to spy on a Fox journalist who was reporting on leaks -- shopping his case to three separate judges, until he found one who let him name reporter James Rosen as a co-conspirator in a crime of reporting the news.
When Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., was asked about the possibility of passing a media shield law to curb this sort of abuse in the future, he replied, in part: "We know it's someone who works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who's tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection?" In the shadow of these attacks, the Senate majority whip is troubled that there may be too many protections for speech rather than too few. That is quite remarkable -- and, these days, quite unsurprising.