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.
.@brianefallon how do you distinguish between the “gutsy” reporters and the one the administration is threatening to put in jail?
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 14, 2014