Washington Reporters Say Obama Administration Is Least Transparent Since Nixon


The Obama Administration is the most secretive and transparency-lacking Presidential Administration since Richard Nixon inhabited the White House, according to a new study based on interviews with top reporters and the heads of news gathering organizations in Washington.

The report, released by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), reveals that reporters who routinely work with top Administration officials consider Obama’s White House to be unprecedented in its hostility toward the press.

“U.S. President Barack Obama came into office pledging open government, but he has fallen short of his promise. Journalists and transparency advocates say the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press,” the report begins. “Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information and broad electronic surveillance programs deter government sources from speaking to journalists.”

The report notes that, in its war against leaks, the Obama Administration has subjected six government employees—among them, Edward Snowden—to felony criminal prosecutions since 2009, justifying the government’s actions under the 1917 Espionage Act. The government accused all of the employees of leaking classified information to the press.

Only three prosecutions of the same type took place under all U.S. Presidential Administrations prior to Obama, according to the report. The Obama Administration is currently investigating other leaks, which could lead to more Espionage Act prosecutions before the end of Obama’s tenure.

“I think we have a real problem,” New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane said in an interview for the report. “Most people are deterred by those leaks prosecutions. They’re scared to death. There’s a gray zone between classified and unclassified information, and most sources were in that gray zone. Sources are now afraid to enter that gray zone. It’s having a deterrent effect. If we consider aggressive press coverage of government activities being at the core of American democracy, this tips the balance heavily in favor of the government.”

The report also details how the Obama Administration routinely uses in-house spokespeople and social media in an effort to circumvent and undermine the press.

“This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,” said David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times, told researchers.

Read the full report here.

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • hungry4food
  • jerry1944

    YEA I bête the really hate Snowden for telling ppl they where being spied on. The normal news we get wouldn’t has let it out for sure And with there nsa spying they can control the judges and have them vote the way they want. Like traitor Roberts …….Mafia don’t let tells out and these ppl are mafia

  • squeeze127

    The report also details how the Obama Administration routinely uses
    in-house spokespeople and social media in an effort to circumvent and
    undermine the press. WTF? This administration owns most all the media and Hollywood!

    • Deerinwater

      All effective politician know how to use hearsay , gossip and news cycles my friend.

      For example, iF some politician wants to buy some time and slip a foul deed under the radar. They do their dirty work at 4:55 PM in Washington after the press core has left the building ~ and are headed home for the weekend. ~ This buys them 72 hours in most cases to distance themselves or drum up support or some defend.

  • jdn

    The media is just figuring this out . Obama does the exact opposite of his words , but unfortunately there are still so many that focus on the words .

    • Deerinwater

      Example please ~ I’d like to talk discuss that charge.

      • ibn insha

        The facts are overwhelming but trying to convince you is akin to banging one’s head against the wall so why even try.

        • Deerinwater

          Well, if so ~ it should not be too much to ask to provide one. `or two?

  • Deerinwater

    Well that is probably true Sam.

    I don’t think that it is the way Obama wanted it to be. ~ It became a necessity and the “need to Know” has been employed.

    Why give somebody something to beat you up with?

    Whether it be a truth or a lie , ~ it always becomes a “weapon” ` so what’s the point?

    • Yankeelouie

      This administration classifies everything to avoid disclosure. It operates like the Soviet Union which apparently it seeks to emulate.