Report Outlines Obama's War Against the Press

“It’s turning out to be the administration of unprecedented secrecy and unprecedented attacks on a free press”

The Committee to Protect Journalists released a special report this week titled "The Obama Administration and the Press" that outlines the aggressive tactics employed by the President to stifle free press.

This report will examine all these issues: legal policies of the Obama administration that disrupt relationships between journalists and government sources; the surveillance programs that cast doubt on journalists’ ability to protect those sources; restrictive practices for disclosing information that make it more difficult to hold the government accountable for its actions and decision-making; and manipulative use of administration-controlled media to circumvent scrutiny by the press.

With the noted exception of making select White House visitor logs public, the reports author, Leonard Downie Jr. notes significant and often unprecedented constraints being placed on journalists.

…the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press. Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information and broad electronic surveillance programs deter government sources from speaking to journalists.

The report concludes that Obama has fallen painfully, and perhaps dangerously, short of his promise to have the “most open and transparent” administration in the nation’s history.

“This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,” said David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times.

Or, as Margaret Sullivan at the NYT puts it:

“...it’s turning out to be the administration of unprecedented secrecy and unprecedented attacks on a free press.”

 

 

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