Politico’s Press Sec. Code of Conduct: Hypocritical?

Earlier this week, Politico‘s John Harris told FishbowlDC that Kurt Bardella’s practice of sharing other reporters’ emails with Mark Leibovich of the New York Times was “intolerable” and “improper.”  Bardella, the 27-year-old press secretary for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), has since been fired.  His dismissal was due in large part to a string of stories, published by Politico, about his sharing of information for Leibovich’s new book.

“I do not know if Politico e-mails were shared. Some of what we learned in the course of reporting raised the possibility that they might have been. If so, this would be intolerable to me, as I assume it would be to any editor whose reporters routinely interact with public officials and the people who represent them,” explained Harris.

Curiously, this ‘press secretary code of conduct’ didn’t seem to apply to Philippe Reines in June 2008 when Politico published and mocked an email sent to the spokesman for then-Senator Hillary Clinton, by a reporter from The Hill newspaper:

We hear The Hill wants to know more about Philippe Reines’ hilarious oped in yesterday’s WSJ, where he drums up more inane ways for the airlines to charge its customers.

Specifically, the pub is interested in the answers to these questions:

-Why did you decide to write this piece?

-Is this the first editorial you’ve had published?

-Do you have any other experience — beyond what you state in your piece about your frequent travel during your boss’ presidential campaign — that would qualify you as an expert in the airline industry?

-It’s unusual for a press secretary to state his or her own policy position on an important issue such as aviation. Are you considering a run for office? If not, are you feeling limelight withdrawal?

Limelight withdrawal?

Recall that HRC’s office – for which Reines is a “senior advisor” –  has been having Hill issues as of late and has since cancelled its subscription. And so Reines didn’t trust himself to answer the email without using foul language, so he asked us to answer for him, along with the help of outside experts.

Politico went on to provide faux answers to The Hill‘s list of questions for Reines.  Sure, the reporter’s email didn’t contain any breaking news or confidential information…but doesn’t it seem just the least bit hypocritical?