Obama Protests the Arrest of Journalists; Many Compare to Obama's Historic Prosecution of Journalists

Obama declared on Wednesday, “Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs.”

The Columbia Journalism Review website was among the many – including Rush Limbaugh on the radio – who saw the hypocrisy, since President Obama is our nation’s most prosecutorial president toward journalists:

Just minutes after the president finished his remarks, a coalition of journalism organizations at the National Press Club in Washington began a news conference condemning the Obama administration’s attempt to compel James Risen, a New York Times reporter, to identify a confidential source. The menagerie of groups this morning presented a petition, signed by more than 125,000 people, calling on the Justice Department to end its six-year effort to force Risen to testify against his source.

In June, the US Supreme Court turned down a last-ditch appeal from Risen, removing the final legal barrier for federal prosecutors who want him to take the stand.

The coincidental timing puts a spotlight on a White House that has repeatedly defended its claim as the most transparent administration in history. In the past five years, however, the Obama administration has been decried repeatedly for both its secrecy and its aggression toward the press. What’s more, it has pursued more criminal leak investigations than every previous White House combined.

Limbaugh played audio of former Times editor Jill Abramson complaining about Obama's record on leak prosecutions, but before that, he found it amazing that America's dreadfully racist and oppressive under...who's the president again?

RUSH: Now, I don't want to be misunderstood here.  For as many times and as often as I complain about the lack of professionalism and the overall horrible job I think the mainstream journalists do today, I do not nevertheless believe that any of this is called for, and I don't think this is the way to deal with them in any way, shape, manner, or form.  But one thing.

The media loves covering the media and so this is at the top of the food chain for them today in terms of things they're interested in.  They love talking about themselves, and they love talking about the pressures, and they love talking about the bias they face. The disconnects that happen here, though, are just amazing.  They're talking about a police state.  When?  Who's running things?


Who's running Ferguson? Who's running the country? Who's running all these things now when this police state and all these horrible things are happening?  Who's in charge?  What kind of thinking is allowing this to happen?  Who is it that believes in an all-powerful Big Government behaving in manners like this?....

The Drive-By Media every day tells us that we are supposed to trust the government with every aspect of our lives.  Every aspect: health care, housing, food, you name it, except the cops and except the military.  When it comes to government with guns, we are not supposed to pay any attention; we're supposed to be very, very suspicious.  When the government has guns, i.e., police force, you name it, any armed agency of the federal government we're supposed to distrust.  But all the others we're supposed to love them and trust them with everything.

Just minutes after the president finished his remarks, a coalition of journalism organizations at the National Press Club in Washington began a news conference condemning the Obama administration’s attempt to compel James Risen, a New York Times reporter, to identify a confidential source. The menagerie of groups this morning presented a petition, signed by more than 125,000 people, calling on the Justice Department to end its six-year effort to force Risen to testify against his source.

In June, the US Supreme Court turned down a last-ditch appeal from Risen, removing the final legal barrier for federal prosecutors who want him to take the stand.

The coincidental timing puts a spotlight on a White House that has repeatedly defended its claim as the most transparent administration in history. In the past five years, however, the Obama administration has been decried repeatedly for both its secrecy and its aggression toward the press. What’s more, it has pursued more criminal leak investigations than every previous White House combined.

- See more at: http://www.cjr.org/the_kicker/obama.php#sthash.rFoSCzjG.dpuf
Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis