“Trump Wages War on the Press, but Was Obama Much Better to Reporters? (Guest Column)” in Variety | Trump Ended Up Using Speech |

As it turned out, the ‘war’ was actually a ‘war of words’. In one sense, Trump turned out to be the greatest proponent of Article 19, then our own American Press.

| Obama, who campaigned on a promise to protect government whistle-blowers, made greater use of the Espionage Act to prosecute leakers and menace journalists than all other presidents combined.

Obama’s Justice Department accessed the personal email of a Fox News reporter and surveilled the reporter’s parents and colleagues. They seized the home, work and mobile phone records of journalists at the Associated Press.

Risen, who fought the administration to protect his sources, got so deep in his own legal battle with Obama that he selected a reading list for prison before the government finally backed off.

White House officials subverted the press in a number of ways while touting themselves as the most transparent in history.

Obama routinely banned news photographers from official events. He went months between press conferences and used social media to circumvent reporters.

First lady Michelle Obama took policy trips overseas with no press on her airplane. The White House scrubbed public visitor logs of names it didn’t want in the news.

The Obama administration posted the worst record in history for fulfilling requests for public records under the Freedom of Information Act.

In a bleak episode of unintended irony, an open-government group gave Obama an award for transparency in an Oval Office ceremony closed to the press.

Trump may well end up being worse on press issues than Obama, and today’s White House reporters could be picking out their prison reading lists eventually.

But for now, those on duty there are guardedly hopeful. | ~ Paragraph 8 on, Variety

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