Obama also kept his distance after it was revealed his Justice Department had seized phone records of Associated Press reporters, apparently in an effort to figure out who leaked information regarding a national-security story. Such an assault on the Fourth Estate should concern any American who values a free and open media.
Yet it seemed to barely faze this president. Obama made it clear through his spokesman, Jay Carney, that there were no plans to step in. “We are not involved at the White House in any decisions made in connection with ongoing criminal investigations,” Carney said.
Even the Los Angeles Times was repulsed. “Retaliatory leak investigations and unjustified, open-ended searches such as that performed on the AP discourage that reporting and cow sources into submission,” the Times wrote. “Such searches may simplify the work of investigators, but they thwart the larger purpose of free debate, a grave sacrifice indeed.”
Obama seemingly couldn't care less. Not when there are wealthy who need to be taxed more, or oil pipeline projects that need to be blocked, or Democratic midterm elections to be won.
In his speech at Ohio State, Obama challenged those new graduates: “I dare you to do better. I dare you to be better.”
The president should follow his own advice.