Quantcast
Opinion

In our opinion: The Obama administration's all-out assault on press freedom

Comments

Return To Article
  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    Instead of fulfilling his promise to be the most transparent presidency ever Barack instead sets new record in hiding information.

    ----------
    ----------

    Barack, is this how you show you have nothing to hide?

    ---------
    ---------

    Between the economy, international relations, transparency, it's say one thing and do the exact opposite for Barack

    ----------

    Poor example of what a leader should be

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 12:19 a.m.

    Barack promised to be the most transparent president in history.

    And what does he actually DO?

    It found the “The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, cited more legal exceptions it said justified withholding materials and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy,” according to an AP report.

    ---------
    ---------

    Barack can lie to our faces all day long but so long as he blames the rich and bush for everything the liberals will support him no matter what.

    ----------

    Can you imagine what the liberals would be saying if bush had set these kinds of "records" after promising transparency?

    ---------

    Perhaps Barack doesn't know what transparency means.

    ----------

    Someone get this guy a dictionary

  • 79Ute Orange County, CA
    March 22, 2014 12:36 a.m.

    The only thing transparent about this administration is its motives...more power to the president.

  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    March 22, 2014 2:39 a.m.

    I agree. And the speech suppression has probably been going on for a long time, but it really came to my attention during the last election. I wasn't a big Romney supporter at first, until I saw how dishonest and hateful Obama campaigners were. And the thing that almost surprised me was the alarming rate at which they edited and lied about Mitt Romney and especially Mormons and other Christians. The bullying was unprecedented. And, when people tried to explain or tell the truth about issues that liberals disagreed with, comments were removed, Romney supporters and others were blocked, dishonest articles were written and so on. This was by major media sources, including CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, Yahoo, and many others.

  • Sore loser tampa, fl
    March 22, 2014 4:37 a.m.

    Obama's transparency vow reminds me of one of my sayings: "if you gotta say it, it probably isn't true". Closed quote

  • RDLV Costa Rica, 00
    March 22, 2014 5:53 a.m.

    "Finland topped the list as the nation with the freest press".
    Maybe Finland is number one because they have 'secret files' that nobody wants.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 22, 2014 6:17 a.m.

    "The administration’s record makes a mockery of Obama’s promise to make his administration the 'most transparent' ever."

    Uh huh, and the record of the Deseret News and the rest of the right wing press makes a mockery of legitimate journalism.

    Incessant whining does nothing for the nation. Recognizing realities and offering solutions to problems actually accomplishes something worth accomplishing.

    The Patriot Act passed by the Bush Administration and renewed by the Obama administration is still in effect. And yes, fighting international terrorists makes secrecy a necessity.

    Although many Right and Left Wing extremists think that the traitorous Edward Snowden is a hero for providing "transparency" to our enemies by letting them know exactly how we surveil them, the responsibility of the US government to keep this nation safe far outweighs the transparency it owes citizens.

    And how do you know the Obama administration is not the most transparent ever?

    Which administration has been more transparent? And how could you even possibly know that?

    Blindly repeating Rush Limbaugh's Right Wing rhetoric is quite unprofessional for a reputed news organization, don't you think?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 22, 2014 6:47 a.m.

    Well, he promised to "fundamentally change our country" and the media should not be surprised that he is working against their freedom as well.

    I welcome those who believe in the First Amendment to what defenders of the Second Amendment have been experiencing for many years, often egged on by the media types who finally feel outrage when THEIR protections are challenged.

    Big, intrusive government must be kept within the limits set in the Constitution. Obama (and most liberals) do not see things that way.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    March 22, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    Sorry, but this editorial lost me when it used "data" supplied by the totally non-transparent "Cause of Action".

    "Cause of Action" is a right biased 501(c)(3) which receives much of its funding from the anonymously funded, and equally right wing "Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity".

    Arguments using obviously biased sources are just not credible.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    March 22, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    We should be surprised at this? This is just standard operating procedure for this administration. From Day 1 he has been circumventing the Constitution and Congress just let's him do it. The likes of Pelosi and Reed are mere lapdogs.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 22, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    @DN Editors: "The administration’s record makes a mockery of Obama’s promise to make his administration the 'most transparent' ever."

    Maybe he meant he would tell the most transparent lies ever.

    Pay close attention to this:

    "The First Amendment says 'Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…' But under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission is planning to send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's 'critical information needs.' Those 'needs' will be defined by the administration, and news outlets that do not comply with the government's standards could face an uncertain future. It's hard to imagine a project more at odds with the First Amendment." (New Obama initiative tramples First Amendment protections, by Byron York, 20 Feb 2014)

    In other words, Obama is going to run the FCC just like he runs the IRS, NSA, DoJ, EPA, and HHS -- as a weapon against his political adversaries.

    This is abuse of power. It's time for Congress to shut down these efforts by defunding them, and -- if that doesn't work -- impeach.

  • StudentofReason SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 22, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    The DNews should work harder to avoid misinterpreting statistics. The reason attributed to America's drop in the press freedom index was not attributed to a decrease in American press freedom, but largely due to a dramatic increase in other countries' ranking.

    Please give your readers an appropriate context.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 22, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    I am not sure which is the bigger problem, the media sources which willingly spout the president's untruthful rhetoric, or the withholding of the information, but both are a real threat to our freedom.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    March 22, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    Obama is conducting an assault on most of what has made the country great his quest is socialism / communism. Can be compared to Longshanks in Brave Heart.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    Yes Obama is bad - but he is really only symptomatic od the Orwellian politically correct left who has taken hypocrisy to new levels.
    Ironically, their is still a huge portion of the media, even a majority, who continue to cover for Obama long after it should be blatant to everyone that he is freedom and tolerance's worst nightmare.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    We've had our freedoms torn to shreds for several years, while the media could only praise the POTUS. And even you, the Deseret News, have a policy of not being critical directly of the current POTUS.

    Our right to privacy is gone. We're spied on by our own government and, per the IRS scandal, which you have helped to keep out of the news, we know full well the risk that this is being done to target political opposition. And you were silent.

    Our police (and other branches of government) have become militarized, not to protect us against outside aggressors. And you were silent.

    The president, by executive order, erases other protected rights, and you have been silent.

    So now you see that Freedom of the Press is being hindered. We're crying big tears for you. Were you critical of the administration's desire to put monitors in each news station? No. You were silent.

    Are you going to stand up finally and take a firm stand against what has happened? I doubt it. I expect that you'll bow down and continue to support the POTUS and fight your little battle against Senator Mike Lee.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    Gary

    Answers to many of your questions as to how we know about the transparency of Baracks leadership are found in the article.

    Did you read the article? If you did, your questions are answered about what the watchdog groups found.

    Or did you just immediately come to Baracks defense and try and turn the attention elsewhere?

    The des news and rush Limbaugh have nothing to do with this.

    Can you not face the facts of the article?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 22, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    There's absolutely something to RDLV's statement, however here's a topic that the left, particularly the "far left" has been very critical of Obama about (contrary to the beliefs of many ideological posters on this thread).

    However the "I hate Obama" glasses are so firmly implanted on the right that fair and important criticism, criticism that could find important allies, turns into idiotic hyperbole.

    "All out assault on press freedom"..really. No press conferences, newspapers being shut down, reporters being imprisoned without trials etc.

    When the question is "is this administration withholding lawful information more than other administrations, and have reporters been pressured more by this administration for sources than other administrations" that's in no way shape or form an "All out assault" on freedom of the press.

    DN do your job with respect and dignity and quit being a shill for the crazies.

  • 79Ute Orange County, CA
    March 22, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    Gary:

    Two simple examples of the lack of transparency, both addressed in the article:

    1. Lack of press conferences where the president makes himself available to respond to questions.
    2. Control of photography of the president.

    You wrote: "Recognizing realities and offering solutions to problems actually accomplishes something worth accomplishing."

    The examples above are realities recognized by people across the band of the political spectrum.

    Simple solutions:

    1. Convene more press conferences where the president responds to questions formulated by the press, not pre-screened, with opportunities for follow-up questions.
    2. Open up the access to photographers.

    Yet even these simple solutions are a bridge too far for this administration - whose self-proclaimed standard for their administration was that it was going to be the most open and transparent in history.

    How do we know it is not (you asked)? The president doesn't make himself available to be questioned.

    I never listen to Limbaugh. I read across the spectrum of political thought to educate myself and to formulate my own ideas, from the DNews to the NY Times to the Economist.

    This is not blind whining - it's recognizing the reality of rigidly controlled access to information from the White House.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    Pragmatic,

    Ya keep spinning this away from the fact Barack promised the most transparent office ever and the facts show otherwise.

    Why not just address what Barack promised and his failure to do what he told us.

    That has nothing to do with the des news, fox

    Barack lied again. Poor example.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    Government monitors in the news room, selective enforcement of federal laws, crony capitalism with the presidents supporters, using tax collectors for political purposes, laundering money by subsidizing certain unions who make political donations back to the president and the list goes on. Is it Venezuela, Russia or the US?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 22, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    Chris B -

    Nothing in the article proved the contention that the Obama administration is less transparent than any other American administration has been.

    The World Press Freedom Index ranked Finland number one in transparency, and dropped the US 14 places from last year. So what? Finland has hardly any military to speak of, few spies, and few secrets to keep. No comparison there. But it’s tops in education, has an ultra-strong social safety net, subsidized housing, and wonderful socialized medicine. Even the poorest of the poor can rely on better health care there than America’s middle class. You’re right, we should try to be more like Finland.

    Yes the Obama administration is denying request to files more often after NSA revelations. That’s because more intrusive questions are being asked.

    FOX “NEWS” and the Wall Street Journal are both owned and controlled by plutocrat and propagandist Rupert Murdoch, and are therefore equally worthless as news sources.
    Referencing a Right Wing Propaganda Source like Cause of Action should never occur in any legitimate publication. That tells us something about the Deseret News.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    March 22, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    "Arguments using obviously biased sources are just not credible."

    What liberal larry means is that arguments using obviously Conservative biased sources are not credible; we've learned that there is absolutely no problem with liberal biased sources.

    "Blindly repeating Rush Limbaugh's Right Wing rhetoric is quite unprofessional for a reputed news organization, don't you think?"

    And the liberal media sources are any better? I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, but from what I know about the right wing and the left wing media sources, the right wing beats the tar out of the left wing when it comes to accurate and honest reporting (you know, the ones Obama tries to get people to ignore and would shut down if he could).

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    March 22, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    It amazes me that so many people have forgotten the cozy relationship the Bush Administration had with Fox News and some of their commentators. Republicans acted like lap dogs and ate it up evening believing Dick Chaney's "facts", WMD, etc., etc. Republican dogma has made Rush, Sean and Billo very rich as these commentators never have to worry about the truth. You can paint the Demo's with the same brush. Truth and government seldom are on the same page these days.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 22, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    The complaint that this supposed attack on press freedoms has been "under reported" by the press being attacked is dead give away. This is just another right wing canard.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 22, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    Ed Snowden, who will someday be recognized as a hero, recently said, ""going to war with people who are not our enemies, in places that aren't threats, doesn't make us safe."

    Like the "War on Drugs," the "War on Terror" has been used as a pretext and cover to shred the constitution and take away our freedoms while we stood and cheered with approval because, you know, bad guys and flag waving and stuff.

    Obama is a continuation of the Bush/Cheney administration - government purchased and controlled by the very elite of the international 1%.

    In previous centuries a people could rebel and act, but in this age of electronic information gathering, drones, and big data, I wonder if the ability of the government to track and monitor has reached the point of no return.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    March 22, 2014 3:54 p.m.

    So we have a daily paper (DN) saying that the nation's news media is under an "all out assault" from the Obama administration. From what I can gather, however, the DN is confident of being allowed to publish tomorrow and thereafter. This brings to my mind two words: "fear monger". And no one does that better than the right.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 4:04 p.m.

    I checked out your references. The indexes are odd and hard to understand. The Cause for Action organization is one of the many shadowy fronts set up by the big money a la Citizens United.

    You are keeping undesirable company.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 22, 2014 4:43 p.m.

    The more I hear and see of the Bill of Rights portion of the American Constitution, the less I believe the fairy tales about America, God and the exceptionality of our founding fathers. If the framers of our Constitution were inspired by God why did they do their work in secrete? Was the Bill of Rights about people or just about the power demands of the then current warlords? In the First and Second Amendments are there any reference or mention of individual people.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    March 22, 2014 5:33 p.m.

    Gary boy,

    The associated press found this:

    “The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, cited more legal exceptions it said justified withholding materials and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy,” according to an AP report.

    Hardly a right wing group.

    Liberals trust left wing sources but think there is only spin from the right?

    Lol!

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    March 22, 2014 5:37 p.m.

    Ultimately, our right to free speech and religion are guaranteed by free exercise of the right to keep and bear arms. I hope all you free speech enthusiasts realize this.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    March 22, 2014 5:58 p.m.

    First they came for the Tea Party, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Tea Party member.

    Then they came for the religionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not religionist.

    Then they came for the honest people, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not an honest person.

    Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 22, 2014 6:51 p.m.

    The purported "rewriting of Freedom of Information Act" in 2009 was done to prevent fuller disclosure of the Bush torture program.

    There is a difficult but important balance between national security needs and the public right to know. Certainly we need to guard against corruption and leaders use of data for political power and control. But on the other hand, we don't want to expose those who risk their lives to keep us safe and/or publicize tactics/methods that our enemies can profit from.

    The AP study noted:
    It could not determine whether the administration was abusing the national security exception or whether the public asked for more documents about sensitive subjects. The NSA has experienced a 138% surge in record requests. Overall there has been an 8% increase in record requests from the prior year. The govt response increased 2% over the prior year.

    Both parties have expressed concern.
    re:Nate

    Quoting Byron York?
    York is just hyperbolic about a VOLUNTARY questionnaire (as part of a larger census) sent to newsroom's decision makers.

    We should be more concerned about media consolidation and a few corporations having ever greater control over the majority of media outlets.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 22, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    1aggie

    "The purported "rewriting of Freedom of Information Act" in 2009 was done to prevent fuller disclosure of the Bush torture program."

    But in 2009 Obama was president. Think about it. What possible interest could the Obama administration have in preventing disclosure of anything Bush? In 2009 they were still in the bash Bush for anything and everything mode. In fact, they are still trying to hang him, to help their polling numbers today.

    They would never have hid anything Bush did that resembled torture. They were flaunting water-boarding. Don't you remember?

    Your claim makes absolutely no sense.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 10:57 p.m.

    @mohokat
    "Obama is conducting an assault on most of what has made the country great his quest is socialism / communism."

    Just one problem... #1 in press freedom is the socialist nation of Finland. #2 is the socialist nation of the Netherlands. #3 is the socialist nation of Norway. #4 is the socialist nation of Luxembourg... and it kinda goes on like that.

    I'm also not sure when conservatives became fans of Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden seeing as they were individually highlighted in this report when clicking on the Americas section, as people the gov't has gone after. In fact it's usually liberals, and libertarians of course, who complain the most about US policy towards them.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 23, 2014 6:21 a.m.

    @1aggie "Quoting Byron York?"

    An interesting thing happened after the Byron York article was published. The switchboards at the White House lit up with phone calls from citizens. The next day, the FCC released a statement admitting they had overstepped their bounds, and that the monitoring would no longer include media owners, news directors, or reporters. They promised to re-design the study. This is something we need to keep our eye on. Freedom requires vigilance.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    pragmatistferlife

    It is ironic that you complain of the "ideological posters on this thread" because Obama merely harasses reporters with lawsuits rather than throwing them directly in jail or tries to monitor newsrooms instead of merely publishing his own propaganda s the only source. Are you suggesting that it will only be problem when there is a military assault? Otherwise everything is hunky-dory? Sounds pretty partisan to me.

    Dixie Dan
    Fox was been more critical of Bush than CBS, NBC, MSMBC, ABC, NYT, TIME etc have ever been of Obama. The media is clearly stacked in Obamas favor so even if your allegations were true about Fox liking Bush - it is clearly false on the larger scale. The media in general was never in Bush's court the way they are for Obama

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    March 23, 2014 10:56 a.m.

    To say that the MSM is not heavily stacked in favor of the current administration is to be willfully ignorant or hopelessly obtuse. Either way, it is a threat to our liberties.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    March 23, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    Is media "preference" for Obama wrong on its face? Could it possibly be that Obama gets better press because his administration performs better than Bush's "Reign of Error"? Nah.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 23, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    Counter Intelligence.." Are you suggesting that it will only be problem when there is a military assault? Otherwise everything is hunky-dory? Sounds pretty partisan to me."...No.

    And I only refer to the ideological posters in the context of refusing to admit that the left criticizes Obama. Once again take your I hate Obama/liberals glasses off before you read.

    I and many liberals are very concerned about freedom of information act policies, drone policies, and in some cases middle east policies.

    Contrary to your biased beliefs liberals don't consider the President the "dear leader" because they support the ACA, human rights, and more Keynesian economics.

    You all really need to get out more. Utah is a tunnel, and in many ways a very insignificant tunnel.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    "I read across the spectrum of political thought to educate myself and to formulate my own ideas, from the DNews to the NY Times to the Economist. "

    If that is your idea of examples of "the spectrum of political thought", well, if the New York Times is your idea of the left of the political spectrum you need to get out more. Try something like Adbustres if you want to get close to the left.

    "Were you critical of the administration's desire to put monitors in each news station? No. You were silent."

    Maybe they were silent, because this is, like so much else conservatives claim, a lie.

    "from what I know about the right wing and the left wing media sources, the right wing beats the tar out of the left wing when it comes to accurate and honest reporting "

    Obviously then you don't know much about left wing and right wing media sources. Hahaha. Too funny.

    Lovely desert, who has come after any of those groups? The tea party, religious people, honest people, or you? Who has come after ANY of them? You do realize, that disagreeing with people is not coming for them?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 23, 2014 6:49 p.m.

    Came across a 2008 article in the Center For American Progress titled, "Think Again Bush Legacy: War on the Press."
    Similar complaints.

    Comparing records of presidential press conferences is also interesting.
    Number of press conferences:
    Richard Nixon: 39. Average per yer: 7.03
    Gerald Ford:40. Ave/yr. 16.32
    Jimmy Carter:59. Ave/yr: 14.75
    Ronald Reagan:46. Ave/ yr. 5.75
    HW Bush 137. Ave/ yr. 34.25
    Bill Clinton: 193. Ave/ yr 24.13
    GW Bush: 157 Ave/ yr 26.25
    Obama : 100. Ave/yr 20 (as of Jan 2014)

    (Source:The American Presidency Project UCSB)

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 24, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    Doesn't this paper ever tire of its constant attacks on the President? This editorial is such nonsense. The editorial page is beginning to look like it pulls directly from the mandates of Roger Ailes to coordinate coverage. The press whines in every administration when they can't have unfettered access, and we are in a new era when responsible journalism is rare, including on the pages of this paper. Media outlets have become partisan outlets packaging news to sell to a specific audience. This paper has done the same. It's sad.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    Since republicans don't do anything in this country, I guess they expect Obama to do everything! Seriously, how much can one man be expected to do? It is ridiculous to blame the president for everything. It is absurd! Don't you think it is pathetic the way republicans do nothing but belly ache and complain and point the finger at Obama! It truly is getting old!

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    Isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Even the Deseret news blocks many posts that it believes are disrespectful....Obama exercises the same policy amongst the press.

    Obama exercises a state run White House like the DNEWS exercises a state run newspaper........there is difference between civil and class, neither Obama or the DNEWS has any,

  • kbingh CLEARFIELD, UT
    April 14, 2014 5:56 p.m.

    Obama administration is so transparent they are invisible.