James Risen: Barack Obama Hates the Press

It seems impossible that a New York Times reporter would claim that President Barack Obama hates the press. But according to a local news story in Maine, that is exactly what James Risen claimed.

First Amendment

Risen was at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, to receive the Elijah Perish Lovejoy award for courageous journalism.

The courage is mainly demonstrated because he might go to jail because he won’t give the government the names of his sources.

“Today, the U.S. government treats whistle-blowers as criminals, much like Elijah Lovejoy.”

The crackdowns on leaks by the Bush and Obama administrations have come with a “veneer of law,” an attempt to make the crackdowns look legal, he said.

Sandy Maisel, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Government and director of Colby’s Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, asked Risen what role Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama have in the prosecution of Risen and other journalists who write exposes on national security issues.

Risen said he and other journalists have debated that issue in the newsroom.

“I don’t think any of this would be happening under the Obama administration if Obama didn’t want to do it,” Risen said. “I think Obama hates the press. I think he doesn’t like the press and he hates leaks.”

Risen said he thinks one of Holder’s most important jobs is to protect Obama from direct criticism.

“He has often tried to do it on this issue.”

That is just about as strong as many things I heard spoken against George W. Bush when he was President!

Note well: it isn’t just Risen who is speaking these truths. He was given a journalism award in order to make sure that everyone realizes that mainstream reporters and editors are on Risen’s side. Others at the New York Time have backed him up. Jill Abramson, the executive editor, said that “This is the most secretive White House I have ever dealt with.”

Everyone knows that the President and his supporters are a bunch of authoritarians. Make sure you go to the polls and vote to get people in office who will do something about it.