MAY 22, 2013
Stop the presses! The New York Times, well known for its public love fest with President Obama, has published an editorial blasting the administration for “threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news.”
Obama must have really screwed up to earn such criticism from the NYT, which has published droves of positive articles about his administration and dozens of editorials complimenting the president on everything from his performance in debates, his education policies, gun control, “hope on immigration”….you name it. The commander-in-chief has a proven ally in the NYT, also known in industry circles as the “Gray Lady” and long considered the country’s newspaper of record.
The NYT proudly endorsed Obama for president twice, with its editorial board playing the role of enthusiastic cheerleader. In a 2008 editorial the paper wrote that Obama was a proven leader with a “cool head and sound judgment” who has put “real flesh on his early promises of hope and change.” The reelection endorsement credits Obama with preventing another Great Depression with his fraud-infested $840 billion stimulus. Obama has “impressive achievements,” the NYT writes in 2012 and has “shown a firm commitment to using government to help foster growth,”
There are many more delusional puff pieces like those, but most people probably get the picture, so citing them all would just be overkill; It’s been well established that the NYT adores Obama and his leftwing, big government policies. That’s why this week’s editorial came as a shock to those familiar with the newspaper’s coverage of the administration.
The rare piece was inspired by reports that the Department of Justice (DOJ) secretly spied on media outlets in an effort to pin down the source of two separate leaks. First, it was revealed that the DOJ obtained the phone records of reporters and editors at one of the nation’s largest news organizations, the Associated Press (AP). This includes records for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters and editors as well as general office numbers for the news organization in several states.
In the aftermath of that scandal, a Fox News television reporter revealed that he too was targeted by the Obama administration after reporting that North Korea planned to launch a missile. The DOJ investigated the source of the story and actually labeled the reporter a “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation. This is the sort of thing you see in communist regimes or dictatorships (like China and Cuba).
Even the president’s staunchest supporters, like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has colluded with the DOJ on a variety of matters, have chastised the administration as have media outlets across the country. The ACLU called it “an unacceptable abuse of power,” reminding that freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy. Editorials nationwide trashed the administration, accusing it of attacking the basic First Amendment right to a free press.
It’s safe to bet that the NYT editorial board had to swallow hard before finally agreeing to criticize the Obama administration for going “overboard.” Here is an excerpt: “Obama administration officials often talk about the balance between protecting secrets and protecting the constitutional rights of a free press,” the piece says. “Accusing a reporter of being a “co-conspirator,” on top of other zealous and secretive investigations, shows a heavy tilt toward secrecy and insufficient concern about a free press.” Ouch!
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