“When not harassing reporters, Obama officials refused to cooperate with them, racking up the worse record for fulfilling FOIA of any previous administration. Obama even routinely banned news photographers from official events so he could keep an iron grip on his image. Michelle Obama banned the press from her taxpayer-paid China visit.”
(John Merline – Issues & Insights) President Trump might be openly hostile to the mainstream media, but it was the Obama administration that was engaged in a widespread effort to thwart the media. Which do you think is more harmful to a free press?
The full extent of Obama’s actions against the press are only now coming to light.
The Columbia Journalism Review reports on a newly released government document showing that the Obama Justice Department engaged in a far more sweeping effort to spy on the Associated Press than previously believed.
“In 2013, the Justice Department launched a brazen attack on press freedom,” the CJR notes, “issuing sweeping subpoenas for the phone records of The Associated Press and several of its reporters and editors as part of a leak investigation. At the time, the subpoenas were widely seen as a massive intrusion into newsgathering operations. Last month, we learned that they told only part of the story.”
The spying came in the wake of the AP’s reporting on a thwarted Yemen-based bomb plot, which contained classified information about the CIA operation. Months later, the AP learned that the DOJ had vacuumed up two-months of phone records on 21 different lines trying to find the leaker.