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Risen: Obama Greatest Enemy Of Press Freedom

From the Daily Caller:

NYT reporter: Obama administration ‘the greatest enemy of press freedom’ in a generation

By Brendan Bordelon | March 24, 2014

New York Times reporter James Risen called the Obama administration “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation” on Friday, explaining that the White House seeks to control the flow of information and those who refuse to play along “will be punished.”

Wow. And James Risen isn’t just anybody. He is one of the most prominent New York Times reporters, having won two Pulitzers for his (largely anti-Republican) reporting.

Rosen was a member of the reporting team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of 9/11 and terrorism, in which many national security secrets were exposed. And he won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2006 for his stories about Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, which also exposed many national security secrets.

Poynter reports that Risen made the remarks while speaking at Sources and Secrets conference — a meeting of journalism , communication and government professionals held in New York City. The foreign policy reporter, who is currently fighting a fierce court battle with the federal government over his protection of a confidential source, warned that press freedom is under serious attack in today’s America.

An Obama scandal that has completely dropped off the radar.

In a speech kicking off the conference, Risen claimed that the Obama administration wants to “narrow the field of national security reporting” and “create a path for accepted reporting.” Those who stray from that path, he cautioned, “will be punished.”

The result is a “de facto Official Secrets Act,” Risen explained, making the current White House “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.” And the media has been “too timid” in pushing back against the onslaught.

The kindest thing that can be said about today’s mainstream media is that they are like courtiers in the days of Louis the 14th. And all they want to do is please the King, so they can a seat at the table that is closer to Obama. And, maybe, even some scraps from his table.

Some of that timidity was on display at the conference. Jeffrey Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker, denied that any constitutional protections for his profession even existed. “It won’t take me long to alienate everyone in the room,” he declared. “For better or worse, it has been clear there is no journalistic privilege under the First Amendment.”

Robert Litt, the administration’s top lawyer for the national intelligence community, agreed with that statement. At the same conference, he likened reporting on national security leaks to drunk driving, arguing that we ban the practice despite the fact that there isn’t always a victim.

“Not every drunk driver causes a fatal accident,” he explained, “but we ban drunk driving because it increases the risk of accidents. In the same way, we classify information because of the risk of harm, even if no harm actually can be shown in the end from any particular disclosure.”

Unless it is a leak that can hurt a Republican administration, like the ‘Pentagon Papers’ or any leaks that help terrorists against Bush. Then these very same people insist there certainly is a Constitutional protection of the press.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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