Piecemeal Media Revelations
Slowly -- very slowly -- it's being revealed by major media outlets that Obama administration aggressively goes after journalists who criticize or question The One.
But even as the media slowly -- very slowly -- begin to drop hints here and there that Obama and his administration are essentially thugs (my word, not theirs), the media still refuses to snap out of their complicit haze.
A recent piece at Breitbart lists several examples where the media spoke about intimidation from the White House. Yet, as the author aptly notes, "despite the shabby treatment they receive at his hands, the media continues to swoon for this president."
I would go farther than that. What the Obama administration is doing is more egregious than "shabby treatment." What we are witnessing is intentional and thuggish behavior perpetrated by Obama and members of his administration with the purpose of shutting down criticism. The behavior of this administration should scare the daylights out of every American citizen.
But it doesn't.
It should serve to awaken the press like a blast of frigid air on their faces.
But it doesn't.
The press should be spelling out for the American public what is going on and educating them on what it means to have a "leader" who threatens the press - both from an historical perspective along with present day implications.
But they're not.
Instead, we get piecemeal revelations offered up here and there.
Last month, CNN anchor Carol Costello, briefly addressed intimidation tactics in a stunning account that should give anyone pause. She made a powerful statement that lasted but a few seconds. And then it was over.
I felt it first hand when I was, um, you know, reporting on the presidential race. I mean, President Obama's people can be quite nasty. They don't like you to say anything negative about their boss and they're not afraid to use whatever means they have at hand to stop you from doing that, including threatening your job.
What she stated sums up the nightmarish situation we are dealing with regarding Obama. Her words should be played over and over again on television, radio, and on the internet. They should be liked, shared, tweeted, re-tweeted, and otherwise disseminated by as many as possible. Her words should be brought to the fore every day.
Her statement was made after CNN commentator Will Cain noted the "consistency in the Obama administration of going after people who embarrass the administration."
Liberal news commentator Bob Beckel let it be known that after he dared to call for a delay in implementation of Obamacare, he "got a call from somebody at the White House who absolutely bludgeoned me over it."
These are but a few among a growing list of unequivocal statements that condemn the president and his administration for the tyrants they are. The words of these journalists should be a refrain that is shouted from the rooftops. Instead, their words are here. And then gone.
"...not afraid to use whatever means necessary...."
The Washington Times has felt the heat from the administration on more than one occasion. Earlier this year, Democrat insider Lanny Davis went on record as saying that "the Obama White House had threatened the Washington Times over his column, warning that the Times would suffer limited access to White House officials and might have its White House credentials revoked."
But it didn't stop there.
The Washington Times is preparing to take legal action over another assault against free speech in a scenario that suggests a trumped up investigation as a means to access a journalist's home and seizure of her notes.
Maryland state police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department's Federal Air Marshal Service.
The agents, who arrived at 4:30 a.m. in full body armor, collected several small arms during the raid, although no charges have been filed against Mr. Flanagan, 54, during the nearly three months since.
Reporter Audrey Hudson said the investigators, who included an agent for Homeland's Coast Guard service, took her private notes and government documents that she had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act during a predawn raid of her family home on Aug. 6.
The warrant, obtained by the Times, offered no specific permission to seize reporting notes or files.
Mrs. Hudson, 50, says that while the authorities were raiding her house, Coast Guard investigator Miguel Bosch - who formerly worked at the marshal service - began asking questions about whether she was the same "Audrey Hudson" who had written "the air marshal stories" for The Washington Times. Mrs. Hudson says she responded that she was.
I hope they win the case. But even more, I hope the mounting evidence that shows a pattern of Obama silencing the press will be presented to the public en masse to let the public know what it means, and what it portends for our nation.
As Josh Stearns of MediaShift notes about a new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists:
The report, authored by Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of the Washington Post, and CPJ's Sara Rafsky, is the most comprehensive look at how the Obama administration's actions have deeply damaged press freedom and the public's access to information.
New York Times National Security reporter Scott Shane captured it best when he told Downie that sources are now "scared to death" to even talk about unclassified, everyday issues.
"There's a gray zone between classified and unclassified information, and most sources were in that gray zone. Sources are now afraid to enter that gray zone," Shane said. "It's having a deterrent effect. If we consider aggressive press coverage of government activities being at the core of American democracy, this tips the balance heavily in favor of the government."
"The administration's war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I've seen since the Nixon administration," Downie writes. "The 30 experienced Washington journalists at a variety of news organizations whom I interviewed for this report could not remember any precedent."
This report should be a starting point for a much larger discussion that brings together journalists of all kinds, with policymakers and citizens to talk through the challenges, questions and concerns about press freedom in our networked, digital age. We are facing a fundamental and coordinated shift in how our government and press interact - and it's not enough to respond to each attack in isolation. We need to launch a proactive effort to reassert the centrality of a free press in our democracy.
If I may put his final message more to the point: We need to stop electing leaders who will trample on our liberties. And we need to hold the media's feet to the fire every time they pave the way to have those very liberties trampled.