Left-wing journalist Jeremy Scahill appeared on the syndicated show “Democracy Now!” this Thursday to discuss the global “war on journalism,” claiming that “this White House seems to only want state media.”
Scahill spoke with left-leaning hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez about the global suppression of reporters in places far-flung such as Somalia and Mexico.
But although he was responding to the British government’s crackdown on The Guardian newspaper, Scahill reserved special ire for the Obama administration’s aggressive actions against reporters and the First Amendment.
“You have, on the one hand, President Obama saying that his administration is going to be the most transparent in history and that they want to be friends with the press,” he said. “And on the other hand, they are monitoring the metadata of journalists, they are seizing phone records, they are trying to compel journalists to testify against their sources, they are trying to figure out who journalists are talking to within government so that they can go and indict those people.”
The reporter, who has written critical book on the Blackwater military contractor and whose new documentary was recently nominated for an Oscar, stressed the importance of the First Amendment and journalism, and argued that the government was seeking to bury both.
“Our profession, our trade is the only one specifically cited in the Constitution for a reason,” he said. “When all three branches of the government are colluding against the interests of the people, it’s the responsibility of journalists to hold them accountable. But this White House, like Bush’s before, they seem to want only state media. They want everything to look like MSNBC, and that’s not real journalism.”
President Obama sat down for an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that aired at 7 p.m. Thursday evening.
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