Robert Knight

As a longtime ink-stained wretch, I’m actually glad that some of the Obama Administration’s bombs targeting our essential liberties found their way out of the Tea Party kill zone and were dropped instead on the Fourth Estate.

Members of the media are generally some of the Obama administration's most loyal constituents. In fact, they're almost as reliable as the voters in Chicago’s cemeteries.

A liberal administration targeting the media is a lot like giving the dog that’s been biting your opponents a swift kick in the head - the dog doesn’t like it.

By seizing the phone records of 20 lines used by as many as 100 Associated Press reporters and by treating Fox News reporter James Rosen as a criminal, the Justice Department has managed to enrage much of the media. Even the leftist Huffington Post published a May 30 column by Jonathan Turley calling for Mr. Holder to be fired.

The harassment of Mr. Rosen was so invasive that one might suspect it was the IRS running amok instead of the Justice Department. The Administration probably thought it could get away with this harassment because the rest of the so-called mainstream media disdains Fox. In fact, the Administration crossed a line, and the media has taken notice. Mr. Rosen, who was writing on North Korea’s nuclear threat, had his personal e-mails seized and was named as a possible “criminal co-conspirator” simply because he, like any good reporter, had elicited information from a government official (not a criminal action unless the reporter is spying for a foreign country). This past week, we learned that the government obtained records for several Fox bureau phone numbers and even a line that matches that of Mr. Rosen’s parents.

Spy novelist Mary Louise Kelly writes in The Atlantic that if you tried to peddle this scandal as fiction, book editors would dismiss it as too far-fetched.

“It takes an unusually egregious misstep by an administration to unite journalists from Fox News and Mother Jones in outrage,” she writes. “But that's what the Rosen affair has accomplished.”

Last week, CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson said her computer has been “compromised” for more than two years. She doesn’t know who is responsible but doesn’t rule out the Justice Department.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.