Information is power and the powerful never like it when the people get information. It creates headaches and makes it hard to set the political agenda. Who wants a bunch of reporters asking a bunch of questions? No one at the White House that’s for sure, they’ve still got 3 years to get through. Who knows what might come out of someone’s mouth, even a reporter the White House thinks it owns. Better to keep them locked away.
This president and his administration have sought to chill dissent. Like the political correctness fanatics which now run our universities (a movement from which Obama it should be noted emerged) who chill speech at every turn in the name of “tolerance and diversity” this president uses similar newspeak when he calls for transparency and “freedom.”
The AP thing got their ears perked. Now with the recent NSA revelations even the Grey Lady, bastion of liberal statism, The New York Times, says the president has gone too far. It’s pretty hard for a liberal president to lose The Times but Obama seems to have done it, for at least this moment in time.
The Obama administration overstepped it’s partnership with the establishment media and now the other half of the partnership is flexing is muscles. Doug Wead rightly points out that the AP hasn’t been particularly interested in covering the surveillance of ordinary everyday citizens. That’s not a story. But if the AP is put in the cross hairs, then they care. It’s natural I suppose.
James Rosen, defense reporter for Fox News was tracked by the Department of Justice in 2009. His private emails were read, his comings and goings around Washington DC were monitored.
There’s still some independence in the establishment media, but more often than not, with big national stories, an idea is crafted at Media Matters and then is sent around to newsrooms all over Washington DC and New York. These talking points are picked up by producers and reporters and then repeated. Last year The Daily Caller, a conservative website, charged that Media Matters acted essentially as a ministry of information for the current administration.
It’s just a bit too obvious now. When Jon Stewart is defending the Tea Party folks something has rumbled through the body politic.
If the Associated Press feels concerned enough to call a Democratic president out for intimidation tactics, something weird is going on.
No big deal. Just the Department of Justice seizing the phone records of reporters and editors over a 2 month period. Nothing weird or intimidating about that.
It’s one thing for The Blaze, Glenn Beck’s online vehicle to report this (as it did in February) it is another when The Associated Press does it. There is a lot of smoke coming from the White House these days.