Civil Liberties

By Targeting Left and Right, White House Guarantees Life to Press-Snooping Scandal

Making enemies everywhere


Until this week, the recent debate over leaks largely fit a familiar frame: Republicans and national security hard-liners faulted President Barack Obama's administration for dishing out self-serving national security secrets to news outlets that many conservatives view as liberal.

But now, conservatives have a journalistic hero to call their own: Fox News reporter James Rosen may have reported sensitive information about North Korean nuclear tests — but what's certain is he had his email searched and his phone calls and personal movements tracked in connection with that reporting by the government to find out who gave him the information. Rosen's network is covering his predicament extensively.

"There's sort of a delicious irony here," said Mark Feldstein, a former investigative reporter for CNN. "Before it was only the left screaming about WikiLeaks and the government crackdown on leaks. Now they're in a position, if they're going to be logically consistent, they have to defend Fox News.