Oops, Justice press aide's comment slips out

July 10, 2009 2:01:28 PM PDT
Has the Justice Department taken President Barack Obama's promise of openness too far? The dozens of reporters who receive department press releases by e-mail were suprised to get one Wednesday evening with this startling subject line:

"FEDERAL GRAND JURY RETURNS INDICTMENT ON INTERNET BOMB THREATS -- good luck, this one sucked."

Eleven minutes later a corrected version was transmitted, without the editorial comment.

Turns out the department wasn't evaluating its own work in public. Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said the "unfortunate comment, put there by a junior press aide, referred to the difficulty in formatting the press release, not to its content." The line was meant to alert a press office editor to possible typographical errors.

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