It appears the staff of the New York Times is getting fed up.
Back at the beginning of this year, we posted about how much we need real journalists and how much the White House has done to punish them. Jill Abramson, the New York Time executive editor declared that Barack Obama’s administration was “the most secretive White House” of her career.
Nothing has changed.
Now Maureen Dowd at the New York Times has published an interview with James Risen. Here is a sample:
Obama said that “here, in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.”
Holder seconded the sentiment, saying that “journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told.”
So why don’t they back off Risen? It’s hard to fathom how the president who started with the press fluffing his pillows has ended up trying to suffocate the press with those pillows.
How can he use the Espionage Act to throw reporters and whistle-blowers in jail even as he defends the intelligence operatives who “tortured some folks,” and coddles his C.I.A. chief, John Brennan, who spied on the Senate and then lied to the senators he spied on about it?
“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 whistle-blowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”
Risen points to recent stories about the administration pressing an unprecedented initiative known as the Insider Threat Program, which McClatchy described as “a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.”
Risen may be trapped in Ibsen, but Obama is channeling Orwell.
The New York Times would never attack President Barack Obama this way if they weren’t truly horrified by his behavior. I don’t know about you but I never expected them to approve an interview saying that Barack Obama is “the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.” They didn’t even reserve the strong language to Risen, the one who is in danger of jail time for doing his job. Maureen Doud not only quotes Risen but adds her own severe criticism. Accusing Barack Obama of “channeling Orwell,” is a phrase that accuses the White House of implementing a “big brother” surveillance and media control program.
Another important lesson here is the rhetoric used by Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and others. They are going to implement tyranny while they talk free speech. They are leaving the job of justifying the regime to others. Their job is to establish policies of controlling and intimidating the press while pretending they are doing the opposite.