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President Obama's War on the Media

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by Jon Friedman
May 23, 2013 10:51 AM
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In a risky move, U.S. President Barack Obama has all but declared war on the America media, particularly investigative journalism.

The Obama administration has secretly subpoenaed phone-call rolls and additional information from an Associated Press office where more than 100 journalists worked. Officials wanted to learn about the sources which cooperated with the wire service on a piece about a failed terrorist scheme in Yemen. 

AP leader Gary Pruitt said the subpoena was "so secretly, so abusively and harassingly and over-broad...that it is an unconstitutional act."

The administration's war on the media doesn't stop there. The President's minions gained a warrant to read the email of Fox News Channe'ls James Rosen. 

As the Atlantic published: "Let's return to the 2009 story that Fox News correspondent James Rosen published on North Korea, kicking off a federal leak investigation and the FBI accusation that he was guilty of criminal conduct."

What is the President trying to accomplish? Is his ulterior motive to hope to intimidate reporters?

It boils down to the latest administration's attempts to curb the fine art of investigative reporting. It won't work, if that is Obama's objective. The president never stops the media from doing their job.

This theme is so predictable in a way. Ever since Jimmy Carter was elected President in 1976, whenever a relative political newcomer -- Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama -- won the White House, he was swept into office as the media hailed the arrival of a maverick. 

The media coverage at first is almost universally positive and the new president gets the benefit of the doubt straight down the line.

But that glad-handing never lasts too long. Overnight, the media turn skeptical and question everything the new POTUS is doing. It must be a jolt for the President. No wonder he turns cynical very quickly. No wonder he wants to curb the media.

But it won't do any good. The media will continue to probe and investigate and come up with scoops that the administration wold prefer to keep under wraps.

President Obama would be wise to remember the sage words of a New York Times editor when he thought that the hard-charging Kennedy Administration was trying to push around its White House correspondent some 50 years ago. 

The Timesman told the press secretary: We were here before you arrived, and we'll be here after you leave

The President should remember who will write his legacy.. 


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