I’m not surprised that President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have been waging war on the news media. They and other members of the Obama team have always struck me as elitists who don’t think really intelligent or worthwhile people would go into journalism.
That’s not an uncommon view among politicians, corporate bosses, well-paid professionals and parents who fret that their daughters and sons are choosing the low-paid and scorned media business instead of law or medical school.
Understanding that helps explain the Obama administration’s efforts to catch those who leaked information to Associated Press reporters and to James Rosen, Fox News’ chief Washington correspondent. The Justice Department subpoenaed phone records and traced when Rosen entered and left the State Department headquarters.
These are extraordinary steps to take against journalists engaged in their daily work. A debate is now raging in the news business over whether the reporters and their sources threatened national security.
Walter Pincus, veteran national security reporter for The Washington Post, wrote that whoever told The Associated Press about a CIA operation that infiltrated al-Qaida and Rosen about North Korean plans for a nuclear test “were not whistleblowers exposing government misdeeds. They harmed national security and broke the law.”
That’s a minority view, counter to the strongly expressed opinions of a majority of journalists who believe, as I do, that the AP reporters and Rosen were engaged in legitimate newsgathering.
Many Obama fans are shocked and appalled at his administration’s relentless effort to punish the sources of these stories and to use police state methods against the reporters publishing them.
I’m not. Even though I have been an Obama booster, much to the disgust of some of Truthdig’s readers, I have long thought that the president and his staff hold the news media in low regard.
Obama’s tightly controlled re-election campaign showed his contempt for the press.
Source: California Political Review