Ethics The Media

Trolling for Scandal


House Oversight Chairman Darrell “Witch Hunt” Issa has once again leaked a partial transcript from a private interview, which ABC News obtained “exclusively” from Darrell Issa, that portrays as a security risk.

There have been “two high findings” of risk – the most serious level of concern – in testing over the past few weeks, the top Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cybersecurity official told the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday in a private transcribed interview.

It’s a “vulnerability in the system,” CMS chief information security officer Teresa Fryer told the committee of one of the issues.

But as Steve Benen at Maddow Blog points out, the areas of risk were already fixed before ABC published their story.

So I checked in with Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, who said “key details” from Teresa Fryer’s transcript “were omitted” before it was leaked to ABC. It’s true that security testing uncovered a recent vulnerability, but Issa’s leak left out relevant facts: there have been no security breaches, the vulnerability was identified and fixed, and Fryer sees the security measures in place as “best practices above and beyond what is usually recommended.”

We know what Darrell Issa’s game is, but beyond that ABC News is irresponsible and lazy.

ABC’s original report, which has been updated, did not mention that the vulnerabilities referenced in Darrell Issa’s congressional click-bait have led to no security breaches or that the problems have already been fixed, meaning they published the story without so much as contacting other committee members or the administration for comment. That’s how great their hard-on for a negative Obamacare story is.

Of course one may forgive them knowing that Darrell Issa has never done something like this before. Oh, wait.

Does Darrell Issa actually do anything other than hype fake scandals? His inquisition began with the Solyndra witch hunt and today we’re no closer to the impeachment he’s been dreaming about than we were then.

  • muselet

    … ABC News is irresponsible and lazy.

    More so every day, I’m afraid.


    • nathkatun7

      “… ABC News is irresponsible and lazy.”

      And ABC is note alone! CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN, are just as lazy and as irresponsible as ABC. Personally, I think the way they scavenge for negative stories about President Obama goes beyond simple laziness and irresponsibility. It seems to me that their (Media) constant willingness to embrace lies and right wing propaganda, in order to attack President Obama’s integrity and competency, is driven by their visceral hatred and unabashed disrespect of President Obama.

      • muselet

        I wouldn’t go quite that far, bearing in mind Napoleon Bonaparte’s wise counsel: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

        Our glorious news media are—as Josh Marshall says—wired for Republicans. They take Rs far more seriously, and Ds far less seriously, than they deserve, one reason why Tiger Beat On The Potomac solemnly declared that Barack Obama had the worst fifth year of any president.

        Rs also retaliate far more viciously, in ways large and small, to negative reporting than do Ds, so reporters are more intimidated by Rs (“Hell, I don’t want to cover the next state trip from a minibus with a bunch of local media!”). Reporters go after Ds hammer and tongs because it’s a chance to prove they can be rough and tough on politicians. I don’t see any real hatred or personal disrespect there, just overcompensation by a bunch of chickens.

        With exceptions like Jonathan Karl, but that’s a rant for another time.


        • nathkatun7

          ” I don’t see any real hatred or personal disrespect there, just overcompensation by a bunch of chickens.”

          I respectfully disagree. I think Ed. Henry, and chuck Todd have shown a great deal of disrespect to the President. I also recall David Gregory confessing that most of the beltway media people dislike the President supposedly because they consider him aloof and arrogant (which, as I am concerned, is a polite way of saying his “Uppity.”

  • Christopher Foxx

    That’s how great their hard-on for a negative Obamacare story is.

    Responsible and professional journalists would know by now that if Issa says it half a dozen independent confirming sources would be needed.

    Shame we don’t have any of those journalists any more.

  • Christopher Foxx

    So let me get this right. The system in place detected a vulnerability, fixed it before any security breach was able to occur, and this is a problem because…?

    Clearly Issa believes fixing things before they become problems is a bad thing to do. This explains so much Republican policy.

  • D_C_Wilson

    And this is why the White House will no longer share confidential documents with him.