Jake Trapper woke up the sleepy press briefing at the White House today.
The ABC White House correspondent took issue with Jay Carney, Obama’s press secretary during a tribute to two fallen journalists in Syria–Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik.
Trapper caught Carney unawares by saying that although the US president likes reporters’ aggressive and challenging work abroad, he is quietly ‘killing journalism’ on the home front.
By that he meant, the department of justice combative behaviour in going after whistleblowers, as well as reporters doing their job in pursuing a good story without taking cues from government or private interests, to get at the truth.
The Obama administration’s record tells the story in going after whistleblowers in the press, even though it itself readily ‘leaks’ information cut to fit its own purposes in the press. Under Obama and his predecessor Bush fils, freedom of the press in the US has been pushed on the ropes. The White House has come in swinging hard and fast.
Little wonder someone like Bill Keller of the ‘New York Times’, backed by the Gray Old Lady’s lawyers run to Washington to clear stories, lest the newspaper of note will face the government’s wrath.
Bravo Trapper. Let’s hope the feckless media drink deeply from the source of your courage. Let American journalism at home be as brave and daring as it is covering hot spots abroad.