It remains astonishing to many that the mainstream media continues to work to shield President Obama and his administration from a healthy level of scrutiny. While it has historically served as the main function of America’s free press to hold public officials to account for their policies and governance, the mainstream media has turned further and further to the left in recent decades and the liberal bias has reached a fever pitch during the presidency of Barack Obama.
That may be changing slightly, however, as even the most liberal bastions of bias are timidly speaking out against the Obama Administration’s bullying of the press.
Though the Obama Administration has, from the earliest moments in power, served as a hostile enemy to conservative alternative media outlets and mainstream news outlet Fox News, even the most-liberal organizations have begun to speak out against the administration that bullies reporters and various journalists for simply trying to do their job.
For example, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the New York Times, James Risen, has recently spoken out and labeled President Obama the “greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation.”
Risen is currently facing the possibility of a jail sentence for refusing to reveal a confidential source and testify against a former CIA agent who the government alleges leaked government secrets.
Indeed, in Obama’s America, it is not enough to penalize those that tell secrets, but instead, they seek to punish those who hear them.
Risen revealed the details of a botched intelligence operation that ended up divulging nuclear secrets to Iran. The Justice Department has been after him for years and he may be in prison as early as the fall.
Speaking in an interview with his colleague, Maureen Dowd, Risen was calm when he discussed his case, but noted that he was furious about the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration with regards to press freedoms.
Both Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have blasted Ferguson police for their willingness to detain journalists who were reporting on the riots in the St. Louis suburb.
Speaking from his lavish vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Obama denounced the police tactics used on the reporters and said,
“Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs.”
Still, that is precisely what is being done to Risen on a federal level.
“It’s hypocritical,” Risen said. “A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistleblowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”
This administration has maintained a relationship with the press that can only be summarized as overbearing and hostile. Even Bob Woodward, one half of the famous reporting duo who took down President Nixon, has revealed that he’s been bullied and threatened by the Obama Administration for having not painted them in a flattering light on some issues.
Others have been routinely restricted access as punishment for having commented on aspects of the president’s policies that have gone over poorly. Photographers have been similarly abused and kept from important press events. Instead, this administration has sought to more and more take their own pictures and issue packets of officially-approved photos to media outlets in lieu of legitimate reporting and photography.
Risen is no amateur; he is a highly respected member of the media and one who has been quite lenient with this administration in his reporting. As Risen warns of the dangers of the tyrant who resides in the White House, all Americans, especially those interested in a free press, ought to pay close attention to his warnings.