NY Times’ James Risen: Obama Is ‘Greatest Enemy of Press Freedom in a Generation’

For her New York Times column this Sunday, Maureen Dowd profiled colleague James Risen, who could face prison time if he refuses to testify against a CIA source who the Obama administration believes leaked information to him for his book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.

Dowd asked Risen about President Barack Obama’s apparent willingness to put journalists and whistle-blowers behind bars while defending people like CIA head John Brennan, who was caught spying on members of the U.S. Senate.

Risen told Dowd:

“It’s hypocritical. A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistle-blowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”

His comments echo those he made earlier this year at a conference connected to the George Polk Awards.

Dowd also highlights the irony in a statement Obama made this past week after two journalists were arrested in Ferguson, Missouri.

“Here in the United States of America police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people what they see on the ground,” the president said.

Watch video of Obama’s remarks below, via Fox News:

[Photo via screengrab]

— —

>> Follow Matt Wilstein (@TheMattWilstein) on Twitter

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under:
  1. Mediaite
  2. The Mary Sue
  3. RunwayRiot
  4. Law & Crime
  5. SportsGrid
  6. AmboTV
  7. Gossip Cop