The Obama administration and the Press

Friday, October 11, 2013


This week, the Committee to Protect Journalists released a study profiling the so-called transparency president's unprecedented war on leaks and refusal to grant journalists access. Bob talks to study author Len Downie about how the Obama administration's policies on the press are having a chilling effect on reporting.


Leonard Downie, Jr.

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [6]

There they are! Thank you! OTM is the best!!!! :)

Oct. 15 2013 12:04 PM

Oh no, where are the transcripts? I need them for my class :(

Oct. 15 2013 11:31 AM

It's interesting that this piece on how the "Obama Administration has itself become historically dangerously hawkish" about secrets is interesting. After targeting conservatives and pro-Israel groups before the election, secrets over Benghazi, a massive cull of Associated Press reporters' phone records as part of a leak investigation, tracking James Rosen's actions, and sealing papers over the Fast and Furious scandal... well, welcome to the scandals that anyone can see.

Oct. 14 2013 08:22 PM

I am tryig to imagine the national-press outrage over the Administration's treatment of leak cases... if the Current Occupant was a Republican.

Instead of a curious little footnote of a story (however well-told and informative), on "On the Media," there'd be national marches on Washington. The New York Times would be doing front-page editorials. MSNBC would be doing panel discussions on impeachment. The (Democratic-majority) Senate would be holding public hearings. And the broadcast networks would be talking about grave threats to the nation.

Oct. 13 2013 10:09 PM

Spare me. The Nixon comparison goes both ways. There the press was hunting for a legitimate crime and they followed it from the low levels up to the president. Now the 24-hour news cycle, the scandal hungry scribes, the openly partisan press combined with an ignorant, disengaged public which can only take reports in bite-sized infotainment chunks demands that an administration manage reporters. Otherwise, everything will get tagged by REPORTERS as whatever-gate (trivializing a truly horrible event in this nation's history) and every minor detail will be followed as if it's the Zapruder film. So Bob while you weep in the corner why don't you flip on CNN, FOX, MSNBC and/or CNBC and you'll get an explanation as to why the press is (rightly) treated with suspicion. It isn't the government that is destroying the press, it's the press themselves.

Oct. 13 2013 04:35 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, OH

In oral arguments at the Supreme Court, in the 'Citizens United' case, the Obama Administration's Solicitor-General affirmed explicitly, in response to a question from the bench, that the federal government had the Constitutional right to suppress any book, pamphlet, documentary film, or other media if it is deemed to (a) be a 'corporate' product, and (b) be an endorsement, even by implication, of a candidate or referendum issue during an 'election campaign'. This breathtaking assertion, which explains why First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams and the ACLU sided with the plaintiffs, caused scarcely a ripple in the mainstream media, for reasons not very difficult to surmise. It should therefore be no surprise that the Obama Administration has such contempt for press organizations, given its crabbed view of free speech and expression. It is apparently a very difficult lesson for urban journalists to grasp - that dark and regressive practices can be pursued by political forces using the language of enlightenment and progress. And, of course, the opposite is true.

Oct. 11 2013 04:58 PM

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