Free Press

Obama is 'the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation,' says Targeted New York Times Reporter


Obama sulk
White House

"They don't want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistle-blowers. But he does. He's the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation," the New York Times' James Risen tells his colleague, Maureen Dowd, in a piece published yesterday. This comes after years of targeting by first the Bush, and especially the Obama administrations, for revealing CIA bungling in Iran. The feds want to know his sources; he won't tell. And so the feds continue to lean on him, using powers derived from a peculiar interpretation of the Espionage Act of 1917.

Risen's assessment is hardly unique. Earlier this year, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression hit the Obama administration with three muzzle awards, in part for its persecution of journalists who expose information in ways that government officials find inconvenient.

Earlier in the year, the United States slid 13 spots on rankings of press freedom compiled by Reporters Without Borders. It was "one of the most significant declines, amid increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks," the group announced.

And last year, David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times, said of the Obama administration, "This is the most closed, control freak administration I've ever covered." That quote appeared in a report published by the Committee to Protect Journalists, which featured more criticisms along exactly those lines.

Could be, the current occupant of the White House is doing something just a tad wrong when it comes to free speech and a free press.


NEXT: Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds Welcomes Our New Sex-Robot Overlords

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. One thing worth keeping in mind–this isn’t just Obama. This is how the Democrats are operating today. Much more authoritarian and less concerned about minority and opposition positions than ever before. And, of course, the Republicans aren’t much better.

    1. They were never concerned about minorities or civil rights in any regard. That was only a means to their end, leftist authoritarian rule.

      1. Minority Opinions do not imply that they are being held by ‘minorities’.

        1. Yes, that’s what I meant, though I also believe the leadership and politicians, at any rate, only care about identity politics to the extent it gets them votes.

    2. “One thing worth keeping in mind–this isn’t just Obama. This is how the Democrats are operating today.”

      The left has always taken representations of themselves in the media much more seriously than others do.

      The first thing the Marxists always wanted to do was seize the broadcasting stations.

  2. earlier this year, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression hit the Obama administration with three muzzle awards

    Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. Obama has never owned slaves. So this Thomas Jefferson Center is wrong, Obama is right.

    There’s no arguing with that, you racist sexist bigot mongers!

    1. Obama has never owned slaves

      Oh? I’d say he owns about 300,000,000 of them.

      1. Its a rental. No one treats things they own this way.

  3. And the media will kiss his ass anyway.

    1. They have to, else… Rethuglicans!

    2. antisocial-ist|8.18.14 @ 11:03AM|#
      “And the media will kiss his ass anyway.”

      You’ll notice how much of an uproar this has already caused. I mean you hear the screaming and the shouting by those who supposedly value a free press, right?

      1. After the midterms and Obama is no longer necessary and in fact shown to be a complete drag on the Democratic Party, the media will turn on him like wolves and try and get their dignity back.

        All this sort of thing is battlefield preparation for when they do that. Obama and his people are about to find out that no man is more important than the party.

  4. Of course he is. But the last thing the major media wants is freedom. You know freedom means? Competition. The thing to remember is that the comfy middle class life of self importance that reporters in the late 20th Century enjoyed is ending. Reporters are seeing their livelihoods vanish before their eyes. All of the major publications and even the minor ones, that used to provide a middle class or better living to reporters are dying. You can no longer made a secure living as a reporter. For this reason, reporters will happily trade their freedom and become paid government propagandists (hell most of them are doing that for free anyway) in return for the government controlling the media, eliminating competition and ensuring established reporters a solid living.

    The media is doing everything it can to repeal the first amendment and get a government takeover of the press. A paycheck from Pravda sounds better to them than unemployment.

  5. This can’t be true.
    I mean I’ve seen Obama’s John Stewart interview, read the interview in Rolling Stone, seen him Between 2 Ferns and slow jamming the news with that oh-so-original Jimmy Fallon… Hah hah hah. There was nary a mention of the lack of transparency, punishment of whistleblowers, kill lists or anything like that.

    Surely all these truth-tellers and defenders of free speech wouldn’t have avoided huge, glaring lies and abuses by an administration like that would they?

    1. I’ll bet every one of them asked the tough questions, too: ‘If you were a tree, what sort of tree would you be?’

      1. Or “why do you think Republicans hate you and want you to fail so much?”

  6. And 95 percent of NYT reporter would vote for him again if he were running for re-election this fall. Including Ms. Dowd.

  7. It is not just Obama, but all of the extreme Progressives that would like to see this country in such bad turmoil that they can impose Martial Law. We would never come out of it.

    Obama is PURE EVIL.

  8. You guys act like sensible and reasonable restrictions on anti-Amreicanism are bad.

    Get your mind right, and sign this Loyalty Oath before it’s too late.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.