Poll: Most Americans Are Basically Okay With Nabbing Reporters' Phone Records

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 21 2013 1:06 PM

Poll: Most Americans Are Basically Okay With Nabbing Reporters' Phone Records

The DOJ's investigation into leaks, and the subsequent secret wave of subpoenas for reporters' phone records, fit awkwardly into the narrative of "Obama scandals." Oh, they're scandals all right. But Republicans prefer to lump them into a list than to propose some legislative fix or condemn the process. Their questions about the story to Eric Holder last week were largely designed to trap him in a lie about the chain of command for subpoenas, not whether the subpoenas should have been issued.

This might be why. From the new WaPo/ABC poll:

Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 2.50.28 PM

The wording's a little loaded ("anti-terrorism efforts!" Booga booga!) but there you have it -- only one in three people are dead-on opposed to subpoenas of reporters' phone records. This question went out before the much more intriguing discussion of whether a reporter (i.e. James Rosen) could be labeled a "co-conspirator" to get his information, but how much would that really skew the opinion?

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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