Not every reporter in Obama's Washington likes to be seen as a soft touch. Take James Risen of The New York Times, the subject of a leak probe over his CIA reporting in a 2006 book. In a positive column by his Times colleague Maureen Dowd, she touted how at a pickup basketball game, "Risen got in a fight with a lobbyist about the rules for being out of bounds."
Carl Hulse, The Times’s chief Washington correspondent, added to the aura: “Whether it’s editors or government officials, Jim definitely won’t take no for an answer, but he will certainly give it.” So naturally he’s going to talk tough about Obama, now trying to intimidate him into revealing his sources.
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:
Thursday was a busy time for White House press secretary Jay Carney. First, he claimed that the toughest interview president Barack Obama had in 2012 was moderated by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart. As if that wasn't bizarre enough, he later stated that “there has never been a more transparent administration,” a situation that “creates headaches for us and ridiculous stories on Fox News.”
It didn't take long for Greta van Susteren, host of that channel's weeknight On the Record program, to come out swinging and post a message asking: ”White House delusional? Obsessed with Fox News Channel? Thinks we are the only ones that spotted this BS?”
Risen is the Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist for The New York Times who has been in the Obama administration's crosshairs "in a years-long legal battle against the government to reveal one of his confidential sources, even petitioning the Supreme Court to hear his case." On Monday, according to Andrew Beaujon at Poynter.org, Risen, appearing at at a George Polk Awards conference called Sources and Secrets, went after the Obama administration's heavy-handedness towards the press (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Everyone proposes drinking games for the State of the Union speech. But it’s not just the president that can drive you to drink. It’s the opportunistic media elites deciding which branches of government have too much power, depending on which branches the Democrats presently control.
After a lot of stalemate in 2013, the partisan media think it’s high time for the executive branch to go completely around the legislative branch. They think that now that Congress has proven itself unwilling to provide Barack Obama with the historical greatness he deserves, they should and must be driven around like roadkill. They’ll have no talk of an imperial presidency, let alone autocracy.
How worried should President Obama be when he loses the likes of Al Hunt?
On today's Morning Joe, discussing the James Rosen outrage, Hunt called President Obama "no better than Richard Nixon" when it comes to the press. He then strongly suggested that Attorney General Eric Holder should go. View the video after the jump.
News that the New York Times and Washington Post kept secret until recently the secret U.S. drone base in Saudi Arabia is once again raising questions on the paper's politicized double standards on keeping state secrets related to the war on terror.
Contrast the deference paid to the Obama administration's request for secrecy, going along with the national security arguments advanced by Obama (until Wednesday's expose of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, Obama's choice to head the CIA) with how the paper routinely leaked secrets during the Bush administration that may have hurt anti-terrorist programs. Here are just some of the national security low-lights and double standards Times Watch has documented at the Times over the years.
The media complicity in President Obama's drone strategy gets more and more astonishing with each passing day.
On Wednesday, Britain's Guardian published a piece with the incredible sub-headline "New York Times and Washington Post knew about secret drone base in Saudi Arabia but agreed not to disclose it to the public."