Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Sharyl Attkisson on Fox News describing White House harassment of journalists

You’ll remember that Sharyl Attkisson used to work at CBS News, and did the best investigative journalism on the Obama administration’s”Fast and Furious” gun smuggling to Mexican drug cartels, and then again on the CIA cover-up of the Obama administration’s foreign policy weakness in the Benghazi massacre. I always disliked her as a journalist when she was attacking the Bush administration so effectively, but I’ve sort of realized that she just thinks that it’s her job to attack and expose whoever is in power. But whereas the Bush administration never did anything to her, the Obama administration is different.

The Daily Caller reports.

Excerpt:

Former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson accused the White House of running an unprecedented pressure campaign against journalists, claiming they are pursuing a “particularly aggressive, well-organized” strategy “designed to have some kind of a chilling effect” on the American press.

Attkisson spoke with Fox News’ Howard Kurtz on Sunday about her early departure from CBS and her battles with the Obama administration for access to information. An investigative reporter who covered White House bugbears like Benghazi and Fast and Furious, she left CBS before her contract expired because she felt network executives inappropriately shot down her stories.

But in her conversation with Kurtz, Attkission made it clear that she ultimately blames the Obama administration itself for her bosses’ timidity.

“I think any journalist who has been covering Washington for a few years would agree… that there is pressure coming to bear on journalists for just doing their job in ways that have never come to bear before,” she began.

“There have always been tensions, there have always been calls from the White House — under any administration, I assume — when they don’t like a particular story,” she admitted. “But it is particularly aggressive under the Obama administration, and I think it’s a campaign that’s very well organized and designed to have sort of a chilling effect.”

“And to some degree,” she continued, “has been somewhat successful in getting broadcast producers who don’t really want to deal with the headache of it. Why put on the controversial stories that we are going to have to fight people on when we can fill the broadcast with other perfectly decent stories that don’t ruffle the same feathers?”

The reporter claimed she and her bosses both received direct pushback from the White House, including phone calls and emails pressuring them to change or retract stories.

Newsbusters has more:

Kurtz asked how Attkisson feels about the charge of liberal bias leading to soft coverage of Obama. “The press in general seems to be very shy about challenging this administration, as if it’s making some sort of political statement, rather than just doing our job as watchdogs,” Attkisson said.

ATTKISSON: I didn’t run into that same kind of sentiment [at CBS] as I did in the Obama administration when I covered the Bush administration very aggressively, on its secrecy and lack of Freedom of Information responses, and its poor management of the Food and Drug Administration and the national laboratories, the Halliburton-Iraq questions of fraud. I mean, there was one thing after another. The bait-and-switch of TARP, the bank bailout program. All of those stories under Bush were met with a good reception. There were different managers as well, but no one accused me of being a mouthpiece for the liberals at that time.

I’m surprised that the communist Democrat Party would suppress freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of the press. Communists have never done that before in history, have they? They never put in place disastrous plans and then had to cover it all up by suppressing journalists. And they certainly never did it in the Soviet Union, Cambodia, Vietnam, and everywhere else communism’s been tried. Whenever government government gets really, really big, we should expect individual liberties to increase. Right?

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CBS News reporter Sharyl Atkisson has had her computers broken into

Reported on the leftist Politico web site. (H/T Bad Blue)

Full text:

Sharyl Attkisson, the Emmy-award winning CBS News investigative reporter, says that her personal and work computers have been compromised and are under investigation.

“I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I’m not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I’ve been patient and methodical about this matter,” Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. “I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public.”

In an earlier interview with WPHT Philadelphia, Attkisson said that though she did not know the full details of the intrusion, “there could be some relationship between these things and what’s happened to James [Rosen],” the Fox News reporter who became the subject of a Justice Dept. investigation after reporting on CIA intelligence about North Korea in 2009.

On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that the Justice Dept. had searched Rosen’s personal e-mails and tracked his visits to the State Dept. The court affadavit described Rosen as “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” of his government source, presumably because he had solicited classified information from that source — an argument that has been heavily criticized by other journalists.

Attkisson told WPHT that irregular activity on her computer was first identified in Feb. 2011, when she was reporting on the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal and on the Obama administration’s green energy spending, which she said “the administration was very sensitive about.” Attkisson has also been a persistent investigator of the events surrounding last year’s attack in Benghazi, and its aftermath.

Normally reliable leftist Juan Williams is now saying that Obama has “CRIMINALIZED JOURNALISM“. (H/T Bad Blue)

Check it out:

STEVE DOOCY: A new twist in the federal government’s probe of American journalists. The Department of Justice wasn’t just targeting the Associated Press. Apparently it also went after Fox News reporter, our very own James Rosen. They tracked Rosen’s comings and goings and secretly obtained copies of his personal e-mail to build a case against one of his sources. Has the Department of Justice finally crossed a line? Joining us now, Fox News contributor Juan Williams. Good morning.

JUAN WILLIAMS: Good morning.

DOOCY: You know, it’s one thing to go after the leaker. It’s another to go after the reporter who gets the leaked information.

WILLIAMS: It really is. I think what you’ve got here is a situation where somehow now journalism has been criminalized, especially in this Rosen case. There is just no justification for somehow making out that the reporter who is trying to cultivate a source by doing so is a coconspirator in terms of a leaks investigation. I have never heard that before, never seen that before. It’s never been done before.

GRETCHEN CARLSON: Well, I have a couple of questions for you, Juan. First of all, the judge had to sign off on this in seeing James Rosen as a criminal. That’s point one. Who’s the judge? Number two is how many other reporters are currently being followed with their comings and goings and their personal e-mail and their phone conversations?

WILLIAMS: Gretchen, I don’t know the answer to the first question about who is the judge. Clearly what the prosecutor and justice department did in signing off on the request for the subpoena was to support the idea that because Rosen had encouraged Stephen Kim, the state department official, to confess or to reveal information about the North Korean nuclear program, he was in a sense a coconspirator, and on that basis then they went after James Rosen’s correspondence, e-mails, his comings and goings. They tracked his badge as he went in and out of the State Department and also phone records, you know, cell phone records and that kind of treatment of a reporter who is certainly doing journalism. I want to emphasize that; that’s the craft we practice. It makes it difficult for journalists to do business. How do you do journalism if you are treated as a criminal for asking for information? 

And more:

DOOCY: The thing about this is the fact that this administration, this president hates leaks, and now, given what’s happening, a lot of people are going to clam up, and they are simply not going to tell the story that needs to get out.

WILLIAMS: That’s the thing. You know, it’s one thing to go after legitimate leaks that endanger national security. It’s another thing to say somebody reporting a story — and I don’t think the story had any grave national security implications — is a criminal. The second thing is to specifically target the reporter and the organization, even though he wasn’t charged with any crime, the idea that he is listed as a co-conspirator is chilling to people who would leak and to reporters who pursue stories in Washington. 

Is this a small scandal? Well, people today are typically more interested in things like TV and movies and music. They’re not paying attention and they just trust Obama to do the right thing, because that’s what they learned in government-run schools: big government good, liberty bad. But for anyone who cares about the Big Picture and the American Experiment, the actions of the Obama administration constitute a serious threat to the core of the Republic.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama administration spied on Fox News reporter’s e-mails and phone calls

Twitchy has everything linked here. And UPDATE: THREE Fox News reporters, including MEGYN KELLY were targeted.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what happened from radically left-wing UK Guardian, of all places: (links removed)

Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen had his emails read by the Obama DOJ, which accused him of being a co-conspirator in a criminal leak case.

It is now well known that the Obama justice department has prosecuted more government leakers under the 1917 Espionage Act than all prior administrations combined – in fact, double the number of all such prior prosecutions. But as last week’s controversy over the DOJ’s pursuit of the phone records of AP reporters illustrated, this obsessive fixation in defense of secrecy also targets, and severely damages, journalists specifically and the newsgathering process in general.

New revelations emerged yesterday in the Washington Post that are perhaps the most extreme yet when it comes to the DOJ’s attacks on press freedoms. It involves the prosecution of State Department adviser Stephen Kim, a naturalized citizen from South Korea who was indicted in 2009 for allegedly telling Fox News’ chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, that US intelligence believed North Korea would respond to additional UN sanctions with more nuclear tests – something Rosen then reported. Kim did not obtain unauthorized access to classified information, nor steal documents, nor sell secrets, nor pass them to an enemy of the US. Instead, the DOJ alleges that he merely communicated this innocuous information to a journalist – something done every day in Washington – and, for that, this arms expert and long-time government employee faces more than a decade in prison for “espionage”.

The focus of the Post’s report yesterday is that the DOJ’s surveillance of Rosen, the reporter, extended far beyond even what they did to AP reporters. The FBI tracked Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department, traced the timing of his calls, and – most amazingly – obtained a search warrant to read two days worth of his emails, as well as all of his emails with Kim. In this case, said the Post, “investigators did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist suspected of receiving the secret material.” It added that “court documents in the Kim case reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist”.

But what makes this revelation particularly disturbing is that the DOJ, in order to get this search warrant, insisted that not only Kim, but also Rosen – the journalist – committed serious crimes. The DOJ specifically argued that by encouraging his source to disclose classified information – something investigative journalists do every day – Rosen himself broke the law. Describing an affidavit from FBI agent Reginald Reyes filed by the DOJ, the Post reports [emphasis added]:

“Reyes wrote that there was evidence Rosen had broken the law, ‘at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator’. That fact distinguishes his case from the probe of the AP, in which the news organization is not the likely target. Using italics for emphasis, Reyes explained how Rosen allegedly used a ‘covert communications plan’ and quoted from an e-mail exchange between Rosen and Kim that seems to describe a secret system for passing along information. . . . However, it remains an open question whether it’s ever illegal, given the First Amendment’s protection of press freedom, for a reporter to solicit information. No reporter, including Rosen, has been prosecuted for doing so.”

Under US law, it is not illegal to publish classified information. That fact, along with the First Amendment’s guarantee of press freedoms, is what has prevented the US government from ever prosecuting journalists for reporting on what the US government does in secret. This newfound theory of the Obama DOJ – that a journalist can be guilty of crimes for “soliciting” the disclosure of classified information – is a means for circumventing those safeguards and criminalizing the act of investigative journalism itself. These latest revelations show that this is not just a theory but one put into practice, as the Obama DOJ submitted court documents accusing a journalist of committing crimes by doing this.

I find it amusing that the journalists on the left are just now realizing that the most left-wing President we have ever had is just like all the other left-wing leaders. He’s a fascist. Fascism is solely a phenomenon of the left. What fascism means is “big government”. To be on the right is to be for smaller government, free trade, and more liberty for families and individuals. That’s why fascism is only enacted by parties on the political left. Free-market capitalism means limited government.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Journalist Bob Woodward gets e-mail threat from senior person in the White House

That video is from left-leaning CNN.

Here is Newsbusters with the transcript.

Excerpt:

Tonight, Washington Post’s Bob Woodward alleged that because he is sticking to his guns in insisting that sequestration was the brainchild of the Obama White House, that it was personally approved by Obama, and that bringing up tax increases now to try to resolve the current sequestration impasse is “moving the goalposts,” he has been threatened by “a very senior person” in the White House. Woodward said so on CNN’s Situation Room earlier today. What’s even more troubling is that Woodward told two Politico reporters the same thing yesterday, and that they appear to have sat on the revelation until this evening when the CNN interview forced their hand. Relevant portions of the CNN transcript and Politico column follow the jump.

This is from a rush transcript at CNN. Woodward was interviewed by the network’s Wolf Blitzer and Kate Bolduan (I checked the first portion of it against the video; there was no supporting video for the last line quoted below; bolds are mine throughout this post):

BOLDUAN: What do you make of the White House’s response to your article?

WOODWARD: Well, I think they’re confused. I think they’ve got this idea. I mean, they put out these long talking points and said, see, even Woodward’s book reports that Speaker Boehner said, let’s get $600 billion over ten years in revenue in the super committee. That’s exactly right. That’s not the sequester. And they’ve said – they have,as you know, I said, get somebody from the White House here, and we’ll debate.

BLITZER: We invited the White House to send someone here, to debate this issue with you, and they declined.

WOODWARD: Why? Why? Because it’s irrefutable; that’s exactly what happened. I’m not saying this is a moving of the goalposts that was some criminal act or something like that, I’m just saying, that’s –

… BLITZER: You’re used to this kind of stuff, but share with our viewers what’s going on between you and the White House.

WOODWARD: Well, they’re not happy at all, and some people kind of, you know, said, look, we don’t see eye to eye on this. They never really said, though – afterwards, they’ve said that this is factually wrong, and they – and it was said to me in an e-mail by a top –

BLITZER: What was said? Yes.

WOODWARD: It was said very clearly, you will regret doing this.

BLITZER: Who sent that e-mail to you?

WOODWARD: Well, I’m not going to say.

BLITZER: Was it a senior person at the White House?

WOODWARD: A very senior person. And just as a matter – I mean, it makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in. And even though we don’t look at it that way, you do look at it that way. And I think if Barack Obama knew that was part of the communication’s strategy – let’s hope it’s not a strategy, but it’s a tactic that somebody’s employed, and said, look, we don’t go around trying to say to reporters, if you, in an honest way, present something we don’t like, that, you know, you’re going to regret this. And just – it’s Mickey Mouse.

… BOLDUAN: That line clearly has touched a nerve with folks at the White House. There’s no question about that.

Why would anyone think that the tactics of this socialist, big-government regime would be any different than other socialist, big-government regimes? They don’t like criticism. They don’t like questions. They don’t like being held accountable.

You can find a list of some of the previous acts of thuggish intimidation against journalists here:

Hey, Bob, you can’t say we didn’t warn you.  We knew this White House was capable of attacking even the great Bob Woodward for telling the truth.

You could have listened to Michael Barone.  He saw it coming even before Barack Obama was elected. In October 2008, he penned “The Coming Obama Thugocracy.”

I experienced it when DOJ press harpy Tracy Schmaler yelled at a half dozen reporters, as the White House official did to you, about my under-oath testimony involving the New Black Panther dismissal.  Her victims included Pete Williams, Quin Hillyer, and Shayrl Attkisson.  After Schmaler’s thug tendencies were well known, she was nurtured and promoted within the Thugocracy instead of being canned as any administration before this one would have done to her — Republican or Democrat.

Schmaler has since been appointed a Made Man of sorts, entering the rarefied private sector air of David Axelrod’s shop.

Schmaler’s story is typical of this gang.  Her shouting, threats, and rants at reporters would have rendered her unqualified to serve in the press shop of a state department of agriculture.

Leftists have always been like this – the sense of moral superiority, and the dismissal of critics as immoral. The thuggishness is natural because they believe that their plans can never fail because of their innate moral superiority. If their plans do fail, (e.g. – high minimum wage produces higher unemployment), it must be because some group of people is undermining them, and those people must be purged. It can never be that their plans are wrong and don’t produce the results they want. They have good intentions, and how could that not produce good results? Leftists are the same everywhere.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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