When it comes to the press, Donald Trump’s considerable bark is worse than his bite. Barack Obama’s administration, though, bit often and hard at the work of the free and independent press, according to a new book by Mark Levin.
“But most important, Donald Trump does not abuse his vast presidential power by spying on the press, insisting they reveal their sources, and threaten them with imprisonment if they don’t. The same cannot be said about the administration of President Barack Obama. According to Mark Levin’s new book, “Unfreedom of the Press,” Obama administration law enforcement officials:
Secretly subpoenaed and seized from telephone companies two months of records for 20 AP phone lines and switchboards used by more than 100 reporters in four of its news bureaus, a retired Washington Post executive editor wrote in an op-ed.
Spied on Fox News reporter James Rosen in 2010. It collected his cellphone records and two days of personal emails and tracked his movements. It accused him of violating the Espionage Act of 1917.
Indicted New York Times reporter James Risen as a “co-conspirator” under the same Espionage Act. It demanded his phone and computer records, tried to get him to testify against a source, and threatened him for years with prison. Not surprisingly, Risen called the Obama administration “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation.”
Considered (but did not implement) a Federal Communications Commission draft plan to oversee content of radio programming by placing government monitors in newsrooms “to determine how stories were selected, whether there was bias in reporting.”
Withheld a record number of Freedom of Information Act requests from the press, Jack Shafer of Politico reported. FOIA is meant to make the bureaucracy more transparent to the general public.