Australia isn’t the only Western country where freedom of the press is under attack by the government. The same thing is happening in the United States, or so argues James Goodale, former general counsel and vice chairman of The New York Times at the time the Pentagon Papers were published, and author of the forthcoming book Fighting for the Press, in which he argues that President Obama is “worse for press freedom than former President Richard Nixon was” and that “The Obama administration has prosecuted more alleged leakers of national security information under the 1917 Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined”.
The Columbia Journalism Review recently interviewed him:
Why aren’t more people angry about what they see as Obama’s aversion to press freedom?
They don’t believe it. I actually have talked to two investigative reporters who are household names, and I said, “Do you realize what’s happening to you if this goes forward?” And I talk, I get no response, and the subject shifts to other parts of the book. No one seems to care.
So you think that if John McCain or Mitt Romney were the president and doing this, there would be a different response?
We’d be screaming and yelling and the journalists would be going crazy. And that doesn’t speak well of journalists.