The Obama presidency began on a promise of being the most transparent administration ever.
The reality, however, turns out to be quite different. Instead of transparency, the Obama administration is opaque and hostile to the Constitution’s First Amendment promise of a free press.
The Daily Signal reports on Oct. 3, 2014 that at a recent joint meeting of the American Society of News Editors, the Associated Press Media Editors and the Associated Press Photo Managers, the Associated Press’ Washington Bureau chief Sally Buzbee detailed eight ways the Obama administration is restricting access to information.
1. Journalists are barred from seeing the fight against Islamic militants: Buzbee contends Americans are being kept in the dark about recent military action, noting that journalists aren’t allowed to take photos or record video of bombers when they take off.
2. Journalists often are barred from Obama’s meetings with world leaders: Buzbee says previous administrations advocated for journalists to be present during the president’s meetings with world leaders when he is abroad. This change, she says, sends the wrong message to the rest of the world.
3. Access to upcoming 9/11 trial is restricted: Journalists do not have access to court filings in real time, Buzbee says, and even access to nonclassified information about the trial has been blocked or delayed.
4. Coverage of Guantanamo is ‘virtually nonexistent’: Information normally released by the previous administration is now nearly impossible to come by. “The military won’t release the number of prisoners on hunger strike or the number of assaults on guards,” Buzbee says.
5. Press sources are being intimidated: Sources have told Associated Press reporters they could be fired for talking to the media. Buzbee called the intimidation tactics “chilling,” adding: “Government press officials say their orders are to squelch anything controversial or that makes the administration look bad.”
6. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is ‘under siege’: FOIA requests have become so expensive and delayed that many organizations are forced to sue federal agencies to get a response at all.
7. The White House uses FOIA requests to monitor what news organizations will cover: Political appointees use FOIA requests as a “tip service” to gain insight into upcoming stories, Buzbee says. At the agency overseeing Obamacare, political appointees have been put in charge of FOIA requests.
8. State and local governments release less information: The Obama administration has tried to dictate to state and local governments what they can and cannot reveal, particularly when it comes to surveillance programs.
Months ago, on March 21, 2014, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times’ foreign policy reporter James Risen had called the Obama administration “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation,” warning that the White House seeks to control the flow of information and those who refuse to play along “will be punished.”
Sharyl Attkisson, an award-winning investigative journalist and former CBS Washington bureau correspondent and occasional CBS Evening News substitute anchor, found out the hard way.
In May 2013, as she was doggedly pursuing the truth behind the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, someone hacked into her personal and work computers. The hacking was confirmed by CBS News.
On March 10, 2014, after 21 years with the network, Attkisson resigned from CBS News, reportedly due to frustration over what she perceived to be the network’s liberal bias and lack of dedication to investigative reporting. She is working on a book tentatively called Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington, on the difficulties of reporting critically about the administration.
Here she is warning about journalism’s dangerous trend:
- Karma is a bitch: MSM now say Obama is a danger to press freedom
- Obama White House email coordinates propaganda that 2012 Benghazi attack was spontaneous protest against a video
- Retired 4-star admiral: Benghazi was an Obama false flag that went wrong