MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Son, It Was Obama We Journalists Had to Fear

Posted by M. C. on May 1, 2019

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/04/son_it_was_obama_we_journalists_had_to_fear.html

By Jack Cashill

“I was driving my then 11-year-old son somewhere, probably soccer practice, when he burst into tears and asked me, ‘is Donald Trump going to put you in prison?’” So claimed the embarrassingly serious Olivier Knox, the White House Correspondents Association president, at the association’s annual grub fest on Saturday.

What Knox should have said is, “No, son, President Trump is at least open in his hostility. The First Amendment gives him the same rights as it gives us. It was President Obama’s dirty, covert war on the media that had me worried.” At this point, little Knox should have asked, “Did this sneaky, back-door attack prefigure Obama’s subversion of the Trump candidacy?” Now, there is a correspondent’s dinner I would pay to watch.

In May 2010, when Obama signed the Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Law, few of America’s reporters and editors were aware that Obama as president represented the single greatest threat to press freedom in their professional lives. True to his reputation as messiah, Obama would soon make even the willfully blind see.

In May 2013, the illusion of an unfettered press disappeared like a magician’s bunny. It was in this month that the Associated Press learned Obama’s Justice Department had quietly seized all of the relevant records for twenty AP telephone lines a year earlier. These included the personal and professional lines of several reporters.

The seizure had to do with AP reporting on a covert CIA operation in Yemen. Although only five reporters were involved in that story, more than one hundred reporters used the lines and switchboards whose records were seized. AP President Gary Pruitt wrote Attorney General Eric Holder that the “government has no conceivable right to know” the content of those records. On Face the Nation, Pruitt boldly assessed White House strategy, “I know what the message being sent is: If you talk to the press, we’re going after you.”

A coalition of some fifty newsgathering organizations promptly came to the AP’s defense. In a barely polite letter to Holder, the coalition accused him of ignoring the Department of Justice’s decades-old guidelines governing subpoenas of journalists and news organizations. The authors of the letter reminded Holder, “The approach in every case must be to strike the proper balance between the public’s interest in the free dissemination of ideas and information and the public’s interest in effective law enforcement and the fair administration of justice.”

The DOJ did none of the above. Its attorneys went behind the AP’s back, failed to negotiate the scope of the subpoena with the AP, and refused to explain what threat to the integrity of the investigation made the subterfuge necessary.

An even more disturbing story broke a week later. It seemed that for the prior three years the DOJ had been secretly dipping into the personal and professional communications of Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen. The case involved Rosen’s interactions with a State Department contractor monitoring North Korea’s nuclear program.

What troubled the media community most about the DOJ response was the use of search warrants to investigate a reporter and the threat to prosecute him under the terms of Espionage Act as an “as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.”…

Be seeing you
Obama peace

 

 

 

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