holder Attorney General Eric Holder (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

At mid-week, we learned that the Department of Justice had determined that its meetings with media organizations would be off the record, the better to facilitate a “candid” discussion.

The media howled about this rule. Many organizations refused to comply, stating that their people wouldn’t attend under those circumstances.

What happened? Change happened.

As Reuters reported, the department came around:

Reuters and some news organizations, including The New York Times and CNN, said they would not attend, but representatives of other news organizations met with Holder on Thursday.

 Another meeting went ahead on Friday after Holder agreed its contents would be largely for publication, Reuters Chief Operating Officer Stuart Karle told reporters outside Justice Department headquarters.

It’s proof that the rules of engagement that federal officials demand are always negotiable.