6/20/2013

The long term (may be permanent) damage Obama has done to investigative reporters

The big problem here is that once a government shows that it is willing to break its own rules, even if it says that it had good reasons, how will anyone who sees a government abuse ever come forward and tell the press?  This is time where we will never be able to get back to where we used to be.  From the Associated Press:

The US government's secret seizure of Associated Press phone records had a "chilling effect" on newsgathering by the agency and other news organizations, AP's top executive said Wednesday. 
"Some longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking with us," AP president and chief executive Gary Pruitt said in a speech to the National Press Club. 
"In some cases, government employees we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone. Others are reluctant to meet in person ... This chilling effect on newsgathering is not just limited to AP.
"Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me that it has intimidated both official and nonofficial sources from speaking to them as well." . . .

From Politico:
Associated Press president Gary Pruitt on Wednesday slammed the Department of Justice for acting as “judge, jury and executioner” in the seizure of the news organization’s phone records and he said some of the wire service’s longtime sources have clammed up in fear. 
Pruitt said the department broke its own rules with the seizure, which he said was too broad, and by failing to give the AP notice of the subpoena. Pruitt questioned the DoJ’s actions concerning the subpoena — had the DoJ come to the news organization in advance, “we could have helped them narrow the scope of the subpoena” or a court could have decided, he said. 
“There was never that opportunity,” Pruitt said during a speech at the National Press Club in D.C. “Instead the DoJ acted as judge, jury and executioner in private, in secret.” . . . . 
Note that the government has gone after James Rosen, Sharyl Attkisson, and William Lajeunesse.  Three of the best investigative reporters.  The AP also apparently posed a problem.

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