ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have so far punted on reporting the strong critique of the Obama administration's "disturbing retreat from democratic practices" with regard to the freedom of the press, according to Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. fell 13 places in the international group's annual "World Press Freedom Index" for the federal government's "increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks."
The organization spotlighted the controversial leaks from Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as examples, but also included the Department of Justice's seizure of the Associated Press' phone records as a "reminder of the urgent need for a 'shield law' to protect the confidentiality of journalists' sources at the federal level." Fox News' Shannon Bream devoted a brief to the Reporters Without Borders report on Wednesday's Special Report: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Here’s part of Chuck Todd’s interview with President Obama that never made it to air on an NBC News program. Obama said “When we buy I.T. services generally, it is so bureaucratic and so cumbersome that a whole bunch of it doesn't work or it ends up being way over cost. And yeah, in some ways, I should have anticipated that just because this was important and I was saying this was my top priority.”
Reporter James Rosen at Foxnews.com noticed that Obama was scolded for this statement at the far-left website DemocraticUnderground.com:
When we last checked in on Barack Obama discussing Benghazi on the network news, he was reassuring Brian Williams on the October 25 “Rock Center” that “We’re going to do a full investigation.” It’s a year later and it’s still “we are going to.” Last fall, Williams and Obama posed as curious for answers on how this disaster happened. Neither of them has demonstrated any noticeable curiosity since.
A new Media Research Center study of Benghazi coverage in 2013 on ABC, CBS, and NBC shows there are two routine modes of operation: (a) praising Team Obama’s public relations and (b) silence.
“The press -- often the target of allegations of liberal bias by conservative media -- has found an unlikely ally in right-leaning radio and television hosts who have taken to defending the First Amendment with a fire-and-brimstone zeal,” she wrote.
It's thankfully been a long, long time since we've heard from Keith Olbermann.
Unfortunately, he came out of the bathtub long enough on Monday to give a Twitter follower his opinion of Attorney General Eric Holder saying, "He should've resigned or been dismissed after the AP overreach. Instead he made a Fox News figure a martyr":
When it comes to identifying nutcases, some might say that Howard Dean gleans valuable experience daily, while shaving.
The failed presidential candidate put his expertise to dubious use on Morning Joe today, calling National Review editor Rich Lowry a "right-wing nutcase." Lowry's sin? Having written a column mocking Eric Holder, and President Obama's decision to put Holder in charge of investigating himself in the James Rosen affair. View the video after the jump.
Not surprisingly, there has been yet another revelation in the unfolding of the James Rosen investigation scandal. On Tuesday, it was discovered that Attorney General Eric Holder went “judge shopping” to find someone who would sign off on a subpoena of Fox News Correspondent James Rosen’s personal records. Apparently, Holder went to three different federal judges before he found one that would agree to sign the subpoena without telling Rosen or Fox News.
However, the only morning show coverage of this important development in this scandal was found on the Fox and Friends; no other network or cable show devoted a sentence to educate the public about this discovery.
Wednesday's CBS This Morning zeroed in on the House Judiciary Committee's inquiry into whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath during his testimony regarding the Justice Department's controversial investigation of journalists. Jan Crawford's two-and-a-half minute report on the congressional investigation into Holder stood out as the only coverage on the Big Three networks on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts.
Crawford underlined that "conservative and liberal voices" are clamoring for Holder's resignation in the wake of the questionable surveillance of the Associated Press and Fox News' James Rosen. She also asserted that "everyone in Washington is talking about is whether...a survivor, like Eric Holder, gets drummed out."
"When First Amendment advocates say Rosen was "falsely" characterized as a co-conspirator, they do not understand the law," huffed Pincus. "When others claim this investigation is 'intimidating a growing number of government sources,' they don't understand history." Lucky for us we have Pincus to school us all, I suppose. But the fact remains that when you consider the timeline of the investigation, there appears to be no legitimate reason for the FBI to have gone on a fishing expedition through Rosen's emails and phone records, considering what they already knew from their investigation of government records that narrowed down the leak to one suspect: intelligence adviser Stephen Jin-Woo Kim.
Fox News boss Roger Ailes wrote a pep-rally memo to his employees in the wake of the James Rosen investigation news. Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple called it a "masterpiece."
"For all those who wonder what it is about Ailes that endears his people to him — and that makes him such a good interviewee for any media reporter lucky enough to get an audience with him — just read this," he wrote:
[UPDATED BELOW] News broke on Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder approved the Justice Department's seizure of a Fox News reporter's private e-mails. CNN still has yet to report this development, although the network found time to cover Brad Pitt's "face blindness" on Friday.
Host Jake Tapper ripped into the Obama administration on Wednesday for its investigation of Rosen, but on Thursday NBCNews.com reported that Holder personally approved the search warrant, labeling Rosen a "possible co-conspirator" against the Espionage Act. CNN still hasn't reported this, as of Friday afternoon.
One obvious question which occurred to me and I suspect others when I read Ann Marimow's first account at the Washington Post dated May 19 of the search warrant issued in 2009 for the personal emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen was: "Where has this thing been hiding?"
The "Affadavit for Search Warrant" is dated May 28, 2010. Why did it come out just this week? Marimow didn't say. More stories followed, still without explanation. It's not unreasonable to believe that the Post might have sat on knowledge of its existence, and that someone who works at the U.S. Court may have deliberately worked to keep it invisible for 18 months after it was supposed to have been unsealed in November 2011.
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared Thursday on the Fox Business program "Varney & Co." to discuss whether the Obama scandals were going to turn the media elites around on Barack Obama. Graham said this is a temporary rough patch. But he said his cynical side was surprised that other reporters embraced Fox News reporter James Rosen after the Obama administration conducted surveillance of his phone calls.
Graham said, "The Obama administration did something backwards here, because what that [Rosen surveillance] story does is cause the rest of the entire media, the liberal media, to rally around Fox News. So that’s not the kind of day they want to have." [Video below]
The Big Three networks coverage so far of the Justice Department's questionable investigation of Fox News' James Rosen has followed a similar pattern to that of their coverage of the Kermit Gosnell case. Jan Crawford's report on Thursday's CBS This Morning was the first full report on growing controversy on ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts. NBC briefly covered the investigation on Tuesday's Today, and ABC has yet to mention it.
Crawford pointed out how the DOJ's "unprecedented" surveillance of Rosen has "really just set off a firestorm of criticism from the left and right. For the first time ever, a presidential administration is treating news reporting like a crime, and a reporter like a criminal suspect." [audio available here; video below the jump]
With each passing day, it's becoming clearer and clearer that many of the current White House resident's followers in the media are really angered by his attack on the Associated Press and Fox News's James Rosen.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday, the National Journal's Ron Fournier said of this issue, "You can't make journalism a conspiracy...The irony here is that President Obama, by raising a jihad against the press, has now made it more likely that we’re going to have what he called 'dumb wars'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible 'co-conspirator' in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news."
So shockingly began a New York Times editorial Wednesday.
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.
Up until now, the funniest thing Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has said in the Obama years is “I think the media would love to have an Obama scandal to cover.” Well, Milbank has finally found a scandal that upsets him: the leak investigation of Fox News reporter James Rosen.
“The Rosen affair is as flagrant an assault on civil liberties as anything done by George W. Bush’s administration, and it uses technology to silence critics in a way Richard Nixon could only have dreamed of.” It’s shaking Milbank’s confidence that the other Obama scandals aren’t scandals:
On Tuesday's Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor and Emmy-winning journalist Juan Williams accused the Obama Justice Department of having "criminalized journalism" by investigating Fox News correspondent James Rosen. Williams claimed that such probing by the administration “makes it difficult for journalists to do business” and posed the question, “How do you do journalism if you are treated as a criminal for asking for information?” [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This revelation, of course, comes close on the heels of the DOJ seizing phone and email records of several Associated Press employees during a leak investigation concerning a CIA operation to foil a terror bomb plot. However, in the Rosen case, the Justice Department has “specifically gone after Rosen and Fox as co-conspirators in the case,” according to Williams, whereas “there is no such listing of AP as a co-conspirator.” In all his years of reporting, Williams said that this particular case against Rosen “stands out in a bright way to me” because it shows that the administration is trying to criminalize certain types of reporting.
In statement released on Tuesday, the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Joel Simon, issued this warning against the Obama Justice Department investigating Fox News reporter James Rosen:"U.S. government efforts to prosecute leakers by obtaining information from journalists has a chilling effect domestically and sends a terrible message to journalists around the world who are fighting to resist government intrusion."
Following a Washington Post report showing that the Obama administration under the Justice Department had singled out Fox News’ James Rosen, including secretly reading his personal emails, FNC’s Brit Hume took the Obama administration to task for its actions.
Appearing on Special Report w/ Bret Baier on May 20, the veteran Washington journalist described the actions by the Justice Department as something where “federal prosecutors have rarely if ever gone before.” At issue are details in which Rosen met with a State Department official and obtained secret details about State Department actions and intelligence on a foreign country now identified as North Korea. As a result, the FBI obtained a search warrant for Rosen's personal files, including his personal email account, to investigate Rosen's activities in connection to the North Korea story. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Despite the devastating tornado that struck Oklahoma on Monday, ABC's Good Morning America still found time to devote several segments to stunningly superficial topics, including getting Botox injections at age 20 and Matt Damon's gay love scenes with Michael Douglas in a new movie. Additionally, the network morning show offered yet another segment to the tabloid details of the Jodi Arias criminal trial.
In total, this amounted to ten and 34 seconds for stories of minor importance. In contrast, the latest details on the growing Internal Revenue Service scandal warranted a mere 52 seconds. News reader Josh Elliott briefly explained that senior White House officials are now admitting "that the top White House lawyer, Kathy Ruemmler, knew about the investigation into the agency's targeting of conservative groups last month." Administration officials claim they did not inform the President.
While much of the news coverage Monday evening and Tuesday morning was dominated by coverage of the tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma, Tuesday's NBC Today did manage to provide two news briefs, totaling a minute and fourteen seconds, to the stunning revelation that the Obama administration searched through the private emails of Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen, supposedly as a part of a leak investigation.
Neither ABC nor CBS bothered to make any mention of their media colleague Rosen being named a "criminal co-conspirator" for simply doing his job as a journalist. Instead on Tuesday, ABC's Good Morning America devoted a four-minute segment to Michael Douglas and Matt Damon discussing their gay love scenes in a movie about Liberace. Meanwhile, CBS This Morning squeezed in a forty-seven-second news brief on the death of The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek.
The Washington Post on Monday reported that Obama’s Department of Justice was investigating journalists before they started wiretapping the Associated Press – for one, Fox News correspondent James Rosen in 2010. Their headline wasn't "Obama Team Also Spied on Fox News." Fox wasn't in the headline, on A-1 or on A-12, where the story continued.
Newly obtained court documents “reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist — and raise the question of how often journalists have been investigated as closely as Rosen was in 2010.” Reporter Ann Marimow began:
While Monday's NBC Nightly News was content to accept President Obama labeling the Benghazi scandal as a "political circus" worthy of ridicule, on Fox News Channel's Special Report, chief Washington correspondent James Rosen was actually being a journalist and fact-checking the commander-in-chief's deceptive assertions on the controversy.
Introducing the Nightly News report on Obama attempting to downplay the scandal during a midday press conference, anchor Brian Williams announced: "...the President took the opportunity to hit back hard over accusations of some sort of a cover-up, saying that defies logic."
A visibly annoyed Shepard Smith on Monday decried the "sour grapes" and "slimy motives" of a group of defeated House Democrats who are circulating a letter in opposition of Nancy Pelosi staying on as a leader of the new Democratic minority. The host even appeared to depart from his teleprompter to defend Pelosi.
Introducing reporter James Rosen, the Fox News host complained, "Could it be anything more than sour grapes, really, here?" Smith questioned the journalist about the origins of the letter. After being told that Rosen couldn't identify those involved, the Studio B anchor ranted, "To circulate that thing out there without even putting a name on it. Kind of slimy, it seems to me. I guess that's how politics works though. Sometimes it's a slimy business."
Rosen can be seen visibly baffled by Smith's outburst. Perhaps thinking he was off camera, the reporter frowned and sighed deeply. In another instance during the same segment, Smith seemed to find his own prompter too right-wing and inserted some liberal commentary.
Bill O'Reilly was certainly pleased with the announcement that Fox News has won a coveted seat position in the White House briefing room.
On Monday's "O'Reilly Factor," the host told guests James Rosen of FNC and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times that he "might be able to sneak down in there" and "sit in the front row."
O'Reilly continued with a devilish grin on his face, "Believe me when I tell you that I will be there sometime down the line, and Glenn Beck might be there, Hannity might be there" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
But on the off chance that what follows might actually mean something, here is an excerpt from a lengthy piece of investigative journalism from Fox News's James Rosen (HT to an e-mailer):
Obama Administration Steers Lucrative No-Bid Contract for Afghan Work to Dem Donor
Despite President Obama's long history of criticizing the Bush administration for "sweetheart deals" with favored contractors, the Obama administration this month awarded a $25 million federal contract for work in Afghanistan to a company owned by a Democratic campaign contributor without entertaining competitive bids, Fox News has learned.