Listen to Jill Abramson, the executive editor of the New York Times:
Well, I would slightly like to interpret the question as "How secretive is this White House?" which I think is the most important question. I would say it is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering, and that includes — I spent 22 years of my career in Washington and covered presidents from President Reagan on up through now, and I was Washington bureau chief of the Times during George W. Bush's first term.
I dealt directly with the Bush White House when they had concerns that stories we were about to run put the national security under threat. But, you know, they were not pursuing criminal leak investigations. The Obama administration has had seven criminal leak investigations. That is more than twice the number of any previous administration in our history. It's on a scale never seen before. This is the most secretive White House that, at least as a journalist, I have ever dealt with.
There's just no excuse for this. I'm hoping between now and the State of the Union to write a long post looking at 5 years of Obama, and our growing tendency to make presidents all good or all bad. When we talk about Obama, the secrecy and the lack of transparency is one of the worst things, although maybe not the worst (I mean, he hasn't droned a journalist yet...at least here on U.S. soil.) But hey, he's getting more popular so he must be doing something right.