Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer sounded off Wednesday on the way President Barack Obama and his administration have handled the scandals confronting them.
In the case of the Internal Revenue Service, Krauthammer noted Obama’s careful choice of words during last week’s press conference with the prime minister of Turkey when asked about his knowledge of the IRS alleged wrongdoing. In that case, Krauthammer said that Obama did not lie but he did suppress the truth.
“The president knows that they knew, but he doesn’t answer the question,” Krauthammer said on Tuesday’s episode of Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor.” “That wasn’t a lie. But that was a deliberate suppression of the truth. And this from a man who somehow leaks to the [New York] Times the idea that he is now only interested in everybody on his staff coming out and saying what they know. Why didn’t he say what he knew when that question was asked of him last Thursday in the Rose Garden?”
But Krauthammer was far more critical of Obama for how his Department of Justice has investigated members of the media, specifically Fox News correspondent James Rosen.
“This is a brazen assault on the First Amendment — freedom of the press,” he said. “We traditionally will go after the emails of a person who is under criminal suspicion for leaking it. But we do not go after the journalists who merely are soliciting information. We have never had a successful prosecution of a journalist doing his job.”
Host Bill O’Reilly asked Krauthammer if he thought an anti-Fox News gesture was in play here with the Rosen investigation, to which Krauthammer stop short of saying it was, but reminded viewers of a 1988 quote from then-Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Dukakis that explained things start at the top.
“Look, I don’t know whether in this particular case it was anti-Fox,” Krauthammer added. “But it surely was an assault on the press. And we also know that from the beginning of this administration, the White House, starting with the president, has tried to delegitimize Fox and pretend somehow it’s outside the sphere of journalistic integrity and protection so … to quote — to quote a Democrat — ‘The fish rots from the head.’”