Breaking News

Obama Is More Hostile Towards The Press Than Any President In History

08.05.2015  |  14:48
Obama Is More Hostile Towards The Press Than Any President In History

Journalists who cover national security are facing vast and unprecedented challenges in their efforts to hold the government accountable to its citizens.

A brand new Politico poll of White House correspondentsfinds:

(1) 65% of reporters say that Obama is the least press-friendly president they’ve ever seen

(2) 78% of White House reporters believe “President Obama dislikes the press”

(3) 63% of the reporters have literally never asked Obama a question at any press conference

(4) 58% say they’ve never spoken to anyone at the White House other than a flack on the White House press team

(5) 5 times more reporters believe that Obama is becoming less and less open with the press than believe he’s getting more transparent with time

The Washington Postnotedlast month:

In theCommittee to Protect Journalistsreport, former Washington Post executive editorLeonard Downie Jr.summarized the administration’s efforts to control information as “the most aggressive I’ve seensince the Nixon administration.” Downie was one of the editors involved in The Post’s coverage of Nixon’s Watergate crimes.

Veteran New York Times reporter James Risen

inside_article
said:

[The Obama administration is] the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encounteredin at least a generation.

[The administration wants to] narrow the field of national security reporting to create a path for accepted reporting.

[Anyone journalist who exceeds those parameters] will be punished.

Obama Is More Hostile Towards The Press Than Any President In History. 354.jpegNew York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramsonagrees:

This is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved incovering, and that includes — I spent22years of my career in Washington and covered presidents from President Reagan on up through now, and I was Washington bureau chief of the Times during George W. Bush’s first term.

I dealt directly with the Bush White House when they had concerns that stories we were about to run put the national security under threat. But, you know, they were not pursuing criminal leak investigations. The Obama administration has had seven criminal leak investigations. That is more than twice the number of any previous administration in our history. It’s on a scale never seen before. This is the most secretive White House that, at least as a journalist, I have ever dealt with.

The Washington Postreported:

Journalists who cover national security are facing vast and unprecedented challenges in their efforts to hold the government accountable to its citizens.

***

Relying on the 1917 Espionage Act, which was rarely invoked before President Obama took office,this administration has secretly used the phone and e-mail records of government officials and reporters to identify and prosecute government sources for national security stories.

***

The Obama administration has drawn a dubious distinction between whistleblowing that reveals bureaucratic waste or fraud, andleaks to the news media about unexamined secret government policies and activities; it punishesthe latteras espionage.

***

Every disclosure to the press of classified information now triggers a leak investigation, said Washington Post national news editor Cameron Barr. “Investigations can be done electronically. They don’t need to compel journalists to reveal sources.”

***

After the New York Times publisheda 2012 storyby David E. Sanger about covert cyberattacks by the United States and Israel against Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities, federal prosecutors and the FBI questioned scores of officials throughout the government who were identified in computer analyses of phone, text and e-mail records as having contact with Sanger.

“A memo went out from the chief of staff a year ago to White House employees and the intelligence agencies that told people to freeze and retain any e-mail, and presumably phone logs, of communications with me,” Sanger said. As a result, longtime sources no longer talk to him. “They tell me: ‘David, I love you, but don’t e-mail me. Let’s don’t chat until this blows over.’ ”

Sanger, who has worked for the Times in Washington for two decades, said,“This is most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.”

***

A survey of government departments and agencies this summer by the Washington bureau of McClatchy newspapers found that they had wide latitude in defining what kinds of behavior constitute a threat. “Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material,”it reported in June.

****

Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.”

***

“People think they’re looking at reporters’ records,” Post national security reporter Dana Priest told me. “I’m writing fewer things in e-mail. I’m even afraid to tell officials what I want to talk about becauseit’s all going into one giant computer.”

***

“Whenever I’m asked what is the most manipulative and secretive administration I’ve covered, I always say it’s the one in office now,” Bob Schieffer, CBS News anchor and chief Washington correspondent, told me.

But it’s not justrecenthistory … Several veteran reporters say this is the worst administrationever.

For example, long-time CNN (and now MSNBC) political reporter Bob Frankensaid:

Every administration tries to manipulate the press. But this is the most hostile to the media that has beenin United States history.

Likewise, USA Today’s Susan Pagesaid:

This administration has been more restrictive and more challenging to the press, more dangerous to the press, really, than any administrationin American history.

After the government’s spying on the Associated Press made it clear to everyone thatthe government is trying to put a chill journalism, the senior national-security correspondent for Newsweektweeted:

Serious idea. Instead of calling it Obama’s war on whistleblowers, let’s just call it what it is: Obama’swar on journalism.

Likewise, Washington Post writer Dan Milbankwrote:

There are various reasons you might not care about theObama administration’s spying on journalist James Rosenandlabeling hima “co-conspirator and/or aider and abettor” in an espionage case.

***

To treat a reporter as a criminal for doing his job — seeking out information the government doesn’t want made public — deprives Americans of the First Amendment freedom on which all other constitutional rights are based. Guns? Privacy? Due process? Equal protection? If you can’t speak out, you can’t defend those rights, either.

Indeed, the Obama administration is treating reporterslike criminals … or terrorists:

– Obama has gone after top reporters. His Department of Justice labeled chief Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen a “criminal co-conspirator” in a leak case, and for many yearsthreatened to prosecutePulitzer-prize winning New York Times journalist James Risen

– The Obama administration alsospied onRisen, Rosen, the Associated Press,CBS reporter Cheryl Atkinsonand other media

– In fact, top NSA whistleblowers tell Washington’s Blog that theNSA has spied on reporters for well over a decade … to make sure they don’t reveal illegal government programs

– The Pentagon smeared USA Today reporters because theyinvestigated illegal Pentagon propaganda

– Reporters covering the Occupy protests weretargeted for arrest

– The governmentadmitsthat journalists could betargeted with counter-terrorism laws(andhere). For example, after Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the government to enjoin the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans – the judge asked the government attorneys5 timeswhether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and thenwriting aboutbad guys. The governmentrefusedto promisethat journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge

– In an effort to protect Bank of America from the threatened Wikileaks expose of the bank’s wrongdoing,the Department of Justice told Bank of Americato a hire a specific hardball-playing law firm to assemble a team to take down WikiLeaks (and seethis)

– The NSA and its British counterparttreated Wikileaks like a terrorist organization, going so far as to target its employees politically, and to spy on visitors to its website




Print versionPrint version

Articles
Depopulation: Plastics chemicals are reducing women s sex drives and men s sperm counts Depopulation: Plastics chemicals are reducing women's sex drives and men's sperm counts
New research out of the University of Rochester in New York has found that the plastics chemicals lurking in furniture, food packaging and many other consumer products are directly linked to decreased...
Ginger tea shown to naturally kill cancer, dissolve kidney stones, improve liver health and more Ginger tea shown to naturally kill cancer, dissolve kidney stones, improve liver health and more
Ginger is another example of a 'superfood' that has been prized for thousands of years for its amazing health benefits, and which is now being scientifically proven to have more beneficial properties than...
The IMF Just Entered The Cold War – Forgives Ukraine’s Debt To Russia The IMF Just Entered The Cold War – Forgives Ukraine’s Debt To Russia
Since 1947 when it really started operations, the World Bank has acted as a branch of the U.S. Defense Department, from its first major chairman John J. McCloy through Robert McNamara to Robert Zoellick...
Right Now There Are 102.6 Million Working Age Americans That Do Not Have A Job NATO Prepares to Send Troops to Protect Turkey from Russian “Threats” The Real Reasons Saudi Arabia Hates Iran McCain wants to shoot down Russian planes attacking Islamists
It’s Official – UK Admits “Human Rights” No Longer a Priority of British Foreign Policy It’s Official – UK Admits “Human Rights” No Longer a Priority of British Foreign Policy
Not that they ever were, but they’ve finally decided to be honest about it. Which to be honest, is pretty scary.
Over Half of E.U. Countries Are Opting Out of GMOs Over Half of E.U. Countries Are Opting Out of GMOs
Sixteen countries have alerted the European Union that they want to opt out of E.U.-approved GM crops.
Proxy Wars: U.S. to arm Kurdish and Arab fighters in Syria Proxy Wars: U.S. to arm Kurdish and Arab fighters in Syria
President Obama has decided not to directly confront Russia over its new air offensive in Syria, believing that President Vladi­mir Putin will soon find himself in a Syrian “quagmire,” but he has approved...
Oregon Shooter's Links To Military Cops Rupture Handcuffed Man’s Spleen, Laugh at Him, Take Pics as He Lay Dying and Begging U.S. Politicians Are Asked About Saudi Atrocities... Here's What Happened Next AMERICAN jihadi is 'top ISIS commander': Yazidi slave reveals that she was beaten and held captive by US citizen who directs attacks and keeps vial of poison to kill himself if he is caught