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Obama damaging the free press

Obama damaging the free press


My former hometown paper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is to Pittsburgh what the Gazette is to Charleston. Both papers having endorsed Barack Obama for president in both 2008 and 2012. But on June 8, the Post-Gazette ran an editorial strongly critical of the Obama administration’s stance on press freedom.

New York Times reporter James Risen has been threatened with prison for refusing to reveal a source in connection with CIA efforts to thwart the Iranian nuclear program. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear his case.

But what concerned the Post-Gazette was not the court. The Pittsburgh paper declared, “At more fault is President Barack Obama ... whose administration has ... created an unprecedented level of obliqueness and hostility toward the press.”

That the administration has failed to encourage and protect whistle-blowing is bad enough. But what is even worse in the Post-Gazette view, “Mr. Obama has aggressively pursued leak investigations and his administration has charged more people under the Espionage Act than all other administrations combined.” And that includes those of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, the presidents most despised by liberals since 1969.

The Post-Gazette concluded, “Rather than attacking journalists for doing their jobs, Mr. Obama should make an effort to restore some accountability and transparency to his administration.”

It is a horrifying, terrifying thought that unless things of this kind are ended, either Jim Haught or his successor, whomever he or she is, will be the last editor of the Gazette as we have known it.

William R. Brown

South Charleston

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