It’s been almost 30 years since American journalists coined the phrase “sleaze factor” to describe President Richard Nixon’s administration. It was a richly deserved riposte. Since then, the phrase has fallen into disuse, but a series of scandals in President Barack Obama’s administration suggest it may be time to dust it off.
The latest whiff of Obama administration sleaze comes from the Justice Department, which has been collecting telephone records of Associated Press reporters and editors. The White House hasn’t deigned to explain what looks to the rest of the world like contempt for the Fourth Amendment.