As we told you a few weeks back, late last year the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs (OPA) kicked TPM off the department’s press list. Various explanations followed — like an apparent budget shortfall or bandwidth dearth that made the costs of sending us their email press releases prohibitive. A more likely explanation seemed to be the article TPMmuckraker.com’s Paul Kiel wrote at the end of August detailing the litany of false statements DOJ spokesman Brian Roehrkasse had made during the course of the US Attorney scandal before being promoted to Director of the Office of Public Affairs at the end of last summer. Our banning took place shortly after he took over.
In any case, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and others took the matter up with Attorney General Mukasey. And it would seem that after he found out what had actually happened he decided to do the right thing and have us reinstated.
The press releases and information alerts started showing up in our in-boxes again on Friday afternoon.
Roehrkasse is now telling the New York Times that the issue was simply one of whether or not TPM was a “credentialed” news organization. But suffice it to say that we are no more ‘credentialed’ today than we were in October. So I’ll let people draw their own conclusions.
In any case, we appreciate being reinstated. It helps us do our work.