A brand new Politico poll of White House correspondents finds:
(1) 65% of reporters say that Obama is the least press-friendly president they’ve ever seen
(2) 78% of White House reporters believe “President Obama dislikes the press”
(3) 63% of the reporters have literally never asked Obama a question at any press conference
(4) 58% say they’ve never spoken to anyone at the White House other than a flack on the White House press team
(5) 5 times more reporters believe that Obama is becoming less and less open with the press than believe he’s getting more transparent with time
The Washington Post noted last month: In the Committee to Protect Journalists report, former Washington Post executive editorLeonard Downie Jr. summarized the administration’s efforts to control information as “the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration.” Downie was one of the editors involved in The Post’s coverage of Nixon’s Watergate crimes.
Veteran New York Times reporter James Risen said: [The Obama administration is] the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation. [The administration wants to] narrow the field of national security reporting to create a path for accepted reporting. [Anyone journalist who exceeds those parameters] will be punished.
New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson agrees: This is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved incovering, and that includes — I spent 22 years of my career in Washington and covered presidents from President Reagan on up through now, and I was Washington bureau chief of the Times during George W. Bush’s first term.
I dealt directly with the Bush White House when they had concerns that stories we were about to run put the national security under threat. But, you know, they were not pursuing criminal leak investigations. The Obama administration has had seven criminal leak investigations. That is more than twice the number of any previous administration in our history. It’s on a scale never seen before. This is the most secretive White House that, at least as a journalist, I have ever dealt with. MORE