"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Obama's Crackdown on the Press


"The Bill of Rights is a 'living document' and really more like advice... advice for little people."

Unfortunately, it's just part of Obama's crackdown against political adversaries and dissenters.

Ben Shapiro over at Breitbart has an excellent piece on Obama's many abuses of power and his attempts to control and manipulate the press. Go check it out at the link below.

From Shapiro at Breitbart:

Selective Access. President Obama has regularly granted special access to reporters who give him preferential coverage. CBS’ Steve Kroft admitted as much after a late-2012 interview with the President during which CBS clipped Obama’s explicit refusal to label Benghazi an act of terror: “(Obama) knows that we’re not going to play ‘gotcha’ with him, that we’re not going to go out of our way to make him look bad or stupid.”

 Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, got special access for a profile of Obama for Vanity Fair – but Obama insisted on redlining his quotes. Lewis explained that “the White House insisted on signing off on the quotes that would appear.” A reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle was threatened for covering an anti-Obama protest. As early as 2008, candidate Obama was kicking dissenters off planes after their outlets endorsed John McCain.

Targeting Reporters. In May 2013, the Associated Press dropped the bombshell that the Department of Justice had grabbed phone records for its reporters and editors of the course of two months. Records for 20 telephone lines belonging to the AP and reporters for it were seized between April and May of 2012. Those seizures affected over 100 journalists.

 The AP’s President and CEO Gary Pruitt stated, “There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters.” Fox News’ James Rosen was also targeted by the DOJ after running a story about North Korea nuclear development. His State Department visits were tracked and his movements were followed. His parents’ phone records were even grabbed.

Placing FCC Monitors in Newsrooms. Last week, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai revealed in the pages of the Wall Street Journal that the FCC will be sending employees into media workplaces to monitor how and what stories are chosen. The goal: to “ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters” concerning “the process by which stories are selected.”

 Pai explained, the FCC “plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their ‘news philosophy’ and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.” Reporters will also be asked whether their stories were killed by management in an effort to elicit “specifics about how editorial discretion is exercised, as well as the reasoning behind the decision.”   
[...]  
Refusing to Comply With Freedom of Information Act Requests. According to Bloomberg News, Freedom of Information Act compliance under the Obama administration has been abysmal. Bloomberg reported that “19 of 20 federal agencies did not comply within 20 days to a request for travel expenses made under the Freedom of Information Act.” Obama’s record on FOIA requests in his first two years was worse than George W. Bush’s in his last three – an odd pattern, given that administrations tend to tighten up on transparency as time goes on. When Obama was given an award for open government, it was not open to the press.

 Here are Obama’s stats: 38.4% denied in 2009, 37.7% denied in 2010, 35.3% denied in 2011. In his last three years, Bush’s stats were 23.5%, 24%, and 40.6%. In 2009, the Obama administration asked Judicial Watch to praise the administration’s transparency, but then refused to hand over Secret Service logs Judicial Watch requested. The Obama administration has said that documents about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not subject to FOIA.

The White House Propaganda Machine. The White House infamously put restrictions on journalists taking some videos and photos of the President, but has simultaneously released administration-produced content that is little more than propaganda. In November 2013, news organizations sent the administration a letter protesting the treatment: “As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist's camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the executive branch of government.”

 The Obama administration’s actions, the letter stated, have “a direct and adverse impact on the public's ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing.” The letter asked news organizations to stop using White House produced photos. The White House banned independent photos of events including a meeting between Obama and black faith leaders and between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as a meeting with Hillary Clinton. AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll stated, “are now recorded only by photographers who work directly for the White House, resulting in images that are little more than visual press releases." The White House also prefers to use non-profit group Media Matters to distribute its spin on the news.

But remember, anyone who believes that Obama is a petty, hard-Left wannabe dictator is stupid and a racist.

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