What difference does it make? “There’s a very substantive difference between whistleblowers and leakers. Leakers are for self-serving purposes, whistleblowers are people who come forward in an effort to tell the truth, and have no personal gain whatsoever.” The administration is out to get both, plus critics.

(J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press) (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

What difference does it make? By spying on journalists in such a sweeping fashion, it chills everyone. Chuck Todd: “It’s absolutely chilling . . . The idea of going after people’s personal cell phones . . . it’s just over the top . . . This is intimidation.” Watch the whole thing.

What difference does it make? It suggests relations with Russia are still rotten. “Russian officials said on Tuesday that they had caught a C.I.A. officer trying to recruit a Russian counterterrorism officer to spy for the United States. They said he was detained on Monday night and then released to the American Embassy in Moscow and ordered to leave the country.”

What difference does it make? That arrogance, for one thing, is coming home to roost and turning the press against the administration. “President Obama and his insular team are violating almost every principle of crisis management. Shoot straight. Ditch the spin. Don’t feed the fire. Restore trust. While the West Wing is run by smart and dedicated public servants, their crisis-communications instincts are horrible. They dissemble. They make things worse. They undermine the administration’s credibility.”

What difference does it make? Jonathan Karl reports that the summary of the talking points e-mails before the administration’s deputies’ meetiing didn’t match the actual e-mails. “The differences in the two versions are being taken by some as evidence that my source sought to intentionally mislead about the extent of State Department involvement in changing the talking points. The version I obtained makes specific reference to the State Department, while the version reported by CNN references only ‘all of the relevant equities’ and does not single out State.” It does suggest House staffers are being spun up by the CIA.

What difference does it make? Well, we would have to trust the executive branch and witnesses will be told not to talk to Congress. “The Department of Justice is launching a probe into the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday.”

What difference does it make? Well, the president really didn’t label Benghazi as terrorism on Sept. 12. “What I don’t understand about what the president is doing is, to a certain extent, you could argue that he wasn’t really involved in a lot of this stuff. But he is so centrally involving himself with these repeated lies. And, I’m just going to call them lies because they’re lies. They’re on tape. Nobody thought that he called it a terrorist attack. Last night I went and I looked up at The New York Times how they reported it the day after. They never reference that we’ve had a terrorist attack against the United States.”