Obama Administration’s day to day intimidation of reporters

 

By Dave Andrusko

AP Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee (AP Photo)

AP Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee (AP Photo)

For a variety of reasons, mostly time, I’ve yet to write on the Obama Administration’s unprecedented clamp down on journalists. Here’s food for thought—“8 ways the Obama administration is blocking information”—an Associated Press article based on remarks AP Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee delivered at a joint meeting of the American Society of News Editors.

Several of the “eight ways the Obama administration is making it hard for journalists to find information and cover the news” address issues of foreign policy/wars. I’m sure the justifications are prolific.

Less defensible is that press is almost entirely shut out of meetings President Obama has with foreign leaders overseas. “Think about the message that sends other nations about how the world’s leading democracy deals with the media,” Buzbee said. “Keep them out and let them use handout photos.”

Even less defensible is the Obama Administration’s response to Freedom of Information {FOIA} requests—slow and slower. Worse yet, the Obama Administration uses FOIAs as a tip service to uncover what news organizations are pursuing. Requests are now routinely forwarded to political appointees. At the agency that oversees the new health care law, for example, political appointees now handle the FOIA requests.

But then there is the intimidation. According to Buzbee

Day-to-day intimidation of sources is chilling. AP’s transportation reporter’s sources say that if they are caught talking to her, they will be fired. Even if they just give her facts, about safety, for example. Government press officials say their orders are to squelch anything controversial or that makes the administration look bad.

So much for the most “transparent” administration ever.