Good news for media organizations: The police shouldn’t be able to bug you while you work, the president says.
"In the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are trying to do their jobs." —President Obama
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 14, 2014
Apparently exempt from that guidance: the federal government. In the past two years, the U.S. Department of Justice has secretly seized AP phone records and tried to force New York Times reporter James Risen to testify in the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer accused of leaking information to him, and the FBI has called a Fox News reporter “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” in another leak case.
The Obama administration has prosecuted more people under the 1917 Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined. Risen called it “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.” It’s even tightened access to White House photos.
But cops, though, they should totally back off.