Senior Content EditorDaily Caller, New York Times (NYT) reporter James Risen has dubbed the Obama administration an enemy of the press. He made his opinions known on Friday, saying the "White House seeks to control the flow of information." As far as he knows, whoever refuses to go along with the administration's plans "will be punished." At a recent Sources and Secrets conference, Risen made these comments to a group of journalism, communication, and government professionals in New York City. While it is unclear whether or not everyone in attendance shared his views, Risen is under fire for refusing to give up a confidential source. The NYT reporter is a fierce defender of foreign policy, and will not back down even though he has been warned numerous times that the First Amendment (freedom of press, etc.) will only get him so far. Robert Litt, a lawyer for the national intelligence community, attended the same Sources and Secrets conference as Risen. While there, he heard and agreed with a statement Risen made about the Obama administration's views on reporting. The White House, Risen reasoned, wants to "narrow the field of national security and reporting." So, if I'm read this correctly: the White House wants to chip away at the freedom of reporting, so that only acceptable stories and sources will be funneled into the public opinion. Litt likened Risen's claims to drunk driving, and that if we banned the practice altogether--by installing a breathalyzer in every car, for example--then we would not need to ask if there was a victim in the accident. “Not every drunk driver causes a fatal accident,” Litt reasoned, “but we ban drunk driving because it increases the risk of accidents. In the same way, we classify information because of the risk of harm, even if no harm actually can be shown in the end from any particular disclosure.” What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
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