A total of 38 separate organizations representing journalists across the nation have joined forces to send Barack Obama a clear message regarding the perceived wall between his administration and the press.
Accusing him of presiding over a regime that engages in “politically driven suppression of the news,” a letter endorsed by these groups cites a number of troubling issues.
The letter accuses Obama of blocking press access to administration sources; and when information is promised, it is often only released after publication deadlines have passed. Furthermore, the groups allege that the administration offers many details that should be openly available only on the condition that the source remains anonymous.
“In many cases,” the letter states, “this is clearly being done to control what information journalists – and the audience they serve – have access to.”
Not only does the current regime actively censor reports, the letter continues; it effectively blacklists reporters deemed unfriendly by excluding them from press events.
The groups involved in the excoriation cited a poll showing “40 percent of public affairs officers admitted they blocked certain reporters because they did not like what they wrote.”
Society of Professional Journalists President David Cullier, who took the lead in organizing and drafting the letter, contends it is the job of those in his profession to lead the charge in fighting this abuse of power.
“It is up to journalists – and citizens – to push back against this force,” he asserted. “Hard!”
Media advocates have targeted the Obama administration before, the Washington Examiner noted; however, this letter offers more detail regarding the systematic retribution shown toward members of the press than has been included in previous efforts to effect change.
The letter concluded that such vindictive behavior is unique to the recent past – specifically the Obama years.
“In prior years, reporters walked the halls of agencies and called staff people at will,” the letter stated, noting that, under Obama, “even non-defense agencies have asserted in writing their power to prohibit contact with journalists without surveillance.”