Journalists have had their access to the white house and its affairs greatly diminished since the Obama administration has taken over the Oval Office.
With the Wikileaks scandal occurring under the current president, it seems as if his camp has taken it among themselves to be more secretive than Nixon following Watergate. These stringent holds on secret information has led to a great deal of anger from the community of White House Correspondents.
A CPJ study last year discussed many cases of crackdowns against “Whistle-blowers”, most notable Chelsea Manning and Thomas Drake. Manning(pictured below) was the largest supplier of information for the leak of the US cables, and he is now spending the next 35 years in prison.
Yet the largest implication of these cases has been for the media. In nearly every news story today, the writer will say “White House official” instead of naming an actual person, and this is due to the fear that saying the wrong thing can lead you to spend long amounts of time in prison. Not to mention that the government has been known to go after reporters, and attempt to coerce them into giving up their sources.
These bullying tactics have led to very little information being released, and even when secret stories surface, they can often be linked back to Obama allowing them to be disseminated.
Finally, the reporters in the rooms during press conferences are not allowed to ask pressing questions without being removed from the room in the next media opened event. In addition, the few people given the chance to be in the room often have to fight for the few minutes of time they get to address the President or his cabinet.
These fear tactics used by the current leaders of our country are keeping important facts from the American people in a time when information is supposed to be most readily available.