While BuzzFeed’s Michael Hastings was reporting his story about U.S. Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens’ diary, he had a salty exchange with Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines. It was testy from the start, which means by the time these guys got to their third round of emails their irons were particularly hot:
Hastings: Why don’t you give answers that aren’t bullshit for a change?
Reines: I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you’re an unmitigated asshole.
Relations between reporters and sources in politics and government have been mostly cordial after a summer that saw notable variations from their usual passive-aggressive rituals: June 15: Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro interrupts President Obama during a news conference. Politico’s Byron Tau and Donovan Slack call Munro’s behavior “a surprising breach of etiquette.” June 19: U.S. Sen. Harry Reid said “That’s a clown question, bro” after a reporter asked him whether a piece of legislation would make it to the Senate floor. Reid’s comment refers to an interaction Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper had with a reporter about drinking in Canada. July 31: Mitt Romney aide Rick Gorka tells Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker, “Kiss my ass; this is a holy site for the Polish people,” after Rucker shouts “What about your gaffes?” to Mitt Romney, who is traveling in Europe and Israel. Gorka also told reporters to “shove it.” Romney later autographed Rucker’s homemade “What about your gaffes?” T-shirt, Dylan Byers reported. Reported instances of reporter-source friction declined precipitously in August.