Commentary Magazine


Topic: Eric Holden

Another Priceless Obama Moment

What a perfect Barack Obama moment.

Yesterday in a major address the president said, “I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable. Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs.” He went on to say he was calling on Congress to pass a media shield law and had raised the issue with Attorney General Eric Holder, “who shares my concern.”

The very same day we learned, courtesy of NBC News, that the very same Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails. Just a week ago the president expressed “complete confidence” in Mr. Holder.

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What a perfect Barack Obama moment.

Yesterday in a major address the president said, “I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable. Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs.” He went on to say he was calling on Congress to pass a media shield law and had raised the issue with Attorney General Eric Holder, “who shares my concern.”

The very same day we learned, courtesy of NBC News, that the very same Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails. Just a week ago the president expressed “complete confidence” in Mr. Holder.

So we have the president of the United States complaining about leak investigations that may chill investigative journalism at virtually the same moment we learned his attorney general decided to treat routine newsgathering efforts by a Fox News reporter as evidence of criminality. (For the record, the president has shown no concern over past leaks of far more sensitive intelligence information–but information that portrayed him in a flattering light.)

The president speaks as if he’s living in an alternate reality, expressing solidarity with the press even as his administration is engaging in Nixon-like actions against it. 

You can’t make this stuff up. 

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