The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
But that kind of schadenfreude doesn't add much to the debate. Listen to how ugly it sounds coming from the other side -- here's Bette Midler expressing joy at the IRS harassment of conservatives:
I LOVE THE IRS!!! HOW CAN A POLITICAL ORGANIZATION BE CALLED A NON-PROFIT THAT PROMOTES GENERAL WELFARE??
We're all prone to exaggerating the faults of the other side and minimizing or ignoring those from our side -- that's the nature of politics. It helps to be aware of it, though, so we focus as much as possible on what's right and wrong. The AP is right that this was "an unprecedented intrusion," and what the IRS did was wrong, as politicians from all along the political spectrum are saying.