To make matters worse in terms of press freedom, there are many reasons to assume the Obama administration is secretly spying on many other journalists and organizations). With Fox’s Rosen, the administration got an actual warrant to read his email and contends that he has committed crimes by pursuing and publishing a story about North Korea, even though the story apparently doesn’t include any classified information per se. Rosen hasn’t been legally charged as of yet but as Glenn Greenwald notes, the accusations against Rosen parallel government charges against Wikileaks honcho Julian Assange. “Under U.S. law,” writes Greenwald, “it’s not illegal to publish classified information,” so the Obama administration is claiming that it’s illegal for journalists and publishers to “solicit” such information. That doesn’t simply fly in the face of the First Amendment and Vietnam-era rulings guaranteeing press freedoms, it declares “ war on journalism” by essentially criminalizing the very act of investigative reporting.
Because they tend to share his broad outlook on politics, too many journalists for too long have been in the tank for Obama, explaining away or minimizing his policy failures and reversals. Remember Obama’s heartfelt insistence that he would run the most transparent administration ever? Take a look at this document about warrantless searches of text messages that his administration finally coughed up to the ACLU and get back to me. It’s 15 pages of completely redacted prose. Such a document would be funny if it wasn’t coming from a secrecy-obsessed administration that has put the brakes on fulfilling FOIA requests and has charged a record number of people under The Espionage Act.