NY Times Reporter: Obama ‘Greatest Enemy of Press Freedom’

Barb Wire

By Ed Morrissey

Thus testifies James Risen, the New York Times reporter reviled by the Bush administration for his probes and exposés of highly-classified government efforts to curtail terrorism. Risen may have had his issues with the Bush White House over his scoops and his sources, but they apparently pale in comparison to what he’s experiencing under Bush’s successor. Speaking to a symposium on press freedom, Risen minced no words in describing the threat to journalists from the Barack Obama administration:

New York Times reporter James Risen, who is fighting an order that he testify in the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer accused of leaking information to him, opened the conference earlier by saying the Obama administration is “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.” The administration wants to “narrow the field of national security reporting,” Risen said, to “create a path for accepted reporting.” Anyone journalist who exceeds those parameters, Risen said, “will be punished.”

No one argued that the Bush administration went easy on journalists. We heard plenty of complaints about crackdowns on leakers during those eight years, some of which were more than justified in both crackdowns and complaints about them. However, until Obama took office, the federal government wasn’t swearing out surveillance warrants on reporters by accusing them of conspiring to commit espionage. The hostility to press freedom comes from the same impulse that limits other freedoms — to control the people through misinformation and a lack of accountability, so as to expand power even further. It’s not just in the area of press freedom that this administration has become the greatest threat in a generation.

Read more: HotAir.com

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.