Obama's Crackdown on Whistleblowers Targets Press Freedom?
In the past few weeks the U.S. has witnessed an aggressive crack down on whistleblowers. For many the Obama administration's tough investigative stance on unauthorized press leaks goes against the president's own election promises to bring back openness and transparency. Moreover, some journalists now accuse the Obama government of actually attacking press freedom.The video tells the full story.
President Obama recently signed the Press Freedom Act. However, after he signed the bill he declined to take any questions from reporters. A fantastic way to establish your legitimacy and show people you really mean business on following through on being 'the most open and transparent administration ever.'
Actions by the Obama administration have led to an uproar among some journalists. POLITICO wrote a 7-page report, "Why reporters are down on President Obama", on how the administration is essentially making all the right moves building up their wall, leaving those covering the administration on their last thread."Reporters say the White House is thin-skinned, controlling, eager to go over their heads and stingy with even basic information. All White Houses try to control the message. But this White House has pledged to be more open than its predecessors, and reporters feel it doesn’t live up to that pledge in several key areas", POLITICO states. And what are those key areas as specified in the report by Josh Gerstein and Patrick Gavin?
- Day-to-day interaction with Obama is almost nonexistent, and he talks to the press corps far less often than Bill Clinton or even George W. Bush did. Clinton took questions nearly every weekday, on average. Obama barely does it once a week.
- The ferocity of pushback is intense. A routine press query can draw a string of vitriolic e-mails. A negative story can draw a profane high-decibel phone call or worse. Some reporters feel like they’ve been frozen out after crossing the White House.
- Except toward a few reporters, press secretary Robert Gibbs can be distant and difficult to reach — even though his job is to be one of the main conduits from president to press. “It’s an odd White House where it’s easier to get the White House chief of staff on the phone than the White House press secretary,” one top reporter said.
- And at the very moment many reporters feel shut out, one paper — The New York Times — enjoys a favoritism from Obama and his staff that makes competitors fume, with gift-wrapped scoops and loads of presidential face time.