Attorney General Eric Holder was roundly pummeled on social media this afternoon for offering to meet with Washington, D.C., bureau chiefs in a special off-the-record meeting — an offer that was all too easy to refuse. Holder and his boss are fond of clamming up so as not to interfere with ongoing investigations, so there was delicious irony in the New York Times turning down a meeting with Holder, who’s currently investigating himself.

Times executive editor Jill Abramson sent her regrets, saying, “It isn’t appropriate for us to attend an off the record meeting with the attorney general. Our Washington bureau is aggressively covering the department’s handling of leak investigations at this time. Evidently, there will be a future session with department officials on the substance of how the law should be applied in leak cases and I am hopeful that our counsel, David McCraw, will be able to participate in that meeting.” In other words, talk to our lawyer.

The Associated Press, already under investigation by the Justice Department, also declined to attend because of the condition that the meeting be off the record. Ditto for the Huffington Post. So, how many boxes of “please-don’t-report-on-this” donuts does Holder need to order? Two should do it, as the Washington Post and Politico seem to have taken the bait.

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