Too bad they won't be giving out a Pulitzer Prize for best question this year. Jake Tapper of ABC News would win hands down:
Last Wednesday in the White House briefing room, the administration’s press secretary, Jay Carney, opened on a somber note, citing the deaths of Marie Colvin and Anthony Shadid, two reporters who had died “in order to bring truth” while reporting in Syria.
Jake Tapper, the White House correspondent for ABC News, pointed out that the administration had lauded brave reporting in distant lands more than once and then asked, “How does that square with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistle-blowers to court?”
He then suggested that the administration seemed to believe that “the truth should come out abroad; it shouldn’t come out here.”
Fair point. The Obama administration, which promised during its transition to power that it would enhance “whistle-blower laws to protect federal workers,” has been more prone than any administration in history in trying to silence and prosecute federal workers.
It would have been disappointing if Obama had been the same as Bush/Cheney would it came to transparency and freedom of press. The fact that he's actually been worse is mind-boggling. Although it's not likely under the current alignment, Congress needs to pass a federal shield law protecting reporters as well as stronger whistleblower protections. Because it's increasingly clear that no American president, regardless of party, will ever again stand up for the First Amendment, beyond empty platitudes.