CNN’s “The Lead” host Jake Tapper argued that while President Obama made some good points in his criticism of the media’s coverage of the 2016 presidential race, his “lecturing would be better delivered to your own administration” given its record on transparency on Tuesday.
Tapper said that while Obama “made many salient points” he might not have been the right messenger.
He added, “Many believe that Obama’s call for us to probe and dig deeper, and find out more has been made far more difficult by his administration, than any in recent decades, a far cry from assurances he offered as he first took office.”
Tapper continued, “Transparency? ‘Obama hasn’t delivered,’ ProPublica reporter Justin Elliott wrote, in the Washington Post, just a few days ago, calling the massive backlog of those seeking and failing to receive information from the government under the Freedom of Information Act, ‘a disaster’ under Obama’s watch, with Obama officials ‘aggressively lobbying against reforms proposed in Congress.’ An Associated press study last year concluded that, ‘The Obama administration set a record again for censoring government files or outright denying access to them under the…Freedom of Information Act.’ The Committee to Protect Journalists told CNN today, the president has fallen well short of his promise, ‘seizing journalists’ phone records and e-mails, the aggressive prosecutions of whistleblowers who leak classified information to the press, and the massive surveillance of communications have sent an unequivocal chilling message to journalists and their sources.’ The Obama administration has used the Espionage Act to go after more leakers and whistleblowers than all previous presidential administrations combined, despite official assurances otherwise.”
Tapper concluded, “Mr. President, with all due respect, when one of the Washington Post editors, involved in the coverage of Watergate, says that your administration’s attempt to fight leaks and control the media is, ‘the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration,’ well, maybe, just maybe, you’re lecturing would be better delivered to your own administration.”
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