WaPo Tells Obama Administration To Leave New York Times Reporter Alone

AP

The Washington Post’s editorial page is calling on the Obama administration to end its aggressive pursuit of a New York Times reporter’s source.

In a piece published Friday, the Post’s editorial writers argued that the administration “should not press” James Risen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Times reporter, to reveal who leaked information on a botched CIA operation that he detailed in his book, “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.”

“Such confidential sources are a pillar of how journalists obtain information. If Mr. Risen is forced to reveal the identity of a source, it will damage the ability of journalists to promise confidentiality to sources and to probe government behavior,” the Post wrote.

Risen has not minced words in his assessment of the administration’s treatment of journalists, arguing recently that President Obama is “the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”

The Post’s editorial writers aren’t the only journalists showing solidarity with Risen.

After a Department of Justice spokesperson expressed support on Twitter to the Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly after the reporter was briefly detained in Ferguson, Mo. last week, CNN’s Jake Tapper was quick to highlight the administration’s prosecution of Risen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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