Barbara Boland at our sister site CNSNews.com reported that fired New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson appeared on Fox News on Wednesday night. On The Record host Greta van Susteren asked about President Obama's record on transparency. Abramson has repeatedly said Obama is the most secretive president she's covered, all the way back to Jimmy Carter.
Fox began the segment with clips of Obama promising a historically transparent administration. (Video below)
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: I want to talk about the whole issue of President Obama and transparency. How many presidential administrations have you covered?
JILL ABRAMSON: I'm going to date myself. I have been covering politics back to the Carter administration which was when I was starting out in journalism, so a long time.
VAN SUSTEREN: You said have this administration is the most is the secretive. What is your support? Why do you say that?
ABRAMSON: I think it's easy to demonstrate that that's true, starting with -- I love the name of your show, "On The Record." I have never dealt with an administration where more officials -- some of whom are actually paid to be the spokesmen for various federal agencies --demand that everything be off the record. So that's secretive and not transparent.
But the most serious thing is the Obama administration has launched eight criminal leak investigations against sources and whistleblowers. And they have tried to sweep in journalists, including - it's almost the one- year anniversary exactly that your colleague James Rosen had his record secretly looked at by the government in a leak investigation.
ABRAMSON: These are like really have put a freeze and have interrupted the normal flow of journalists who want to cover Washington, and national security especially.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is it profoundly different though than the other administrations?
ABRAMSON: It is profoundly different. Before these cases, these eight cases, and all of history, there have been fewer than half of those. And so it is different.
VAN SUSTEREN: We listen to Josh Earnest, the current White House press secretary. And just the other day, he said that this is the most transparent. The president also said that. He said he, quote, "absolutely sticks by President Obama's line about having the most transparent administration." Are they also delusional then?
ABRAMSON: No. You know, in certain ways they have declassified some documents. They have done something that weigh on the side of transparency. But I just think that these criminal cases, these criminal leak investigations outweigh all of the good that they have done and all of the efforts they have made to try to be transparent.
You said, in the lead-in to the show, I'm not alone in pointing out how closed and difficult this administration is for reporters. Everyone from Bob Schieffer to Len Downie, who was top editor at "The Washington Post," have commented at how secretive this White House is.