In spite of the large number of news media members allegedly "carrying President Barack Obama's water," some of the top professional organizations representing journalists revealed on Tuesday that the Obama administration has failed to fulfill the President's promise to be the most transparent administration in recent history and actually attempted to hamper news coverage by a number of reporters in violation of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.
A recent example is the Obama Health and Human Services providing tours of illegal alien detention centers but prohibiting them from interviewing any of the children who came across border into Texas.
"President Obama has a very casual relationship with the First Amendment. Americans need to understand that when reporters -- even if they are Obama sycophants -- represent the American people and the American people's right to know what their leaders are up to," said political strategist and attorney Michael J. Baker.
The nonpartisan Society for Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, along with more than 30 other organizations representing broadcast, print and Internet journalists, sent a biting letter to President Barack Obama and his administration accusing them of purposely suppressing coverage of the White House, the Cabinet and federal agencies.
"The stifling of free expression is happening despite your pledge on your first day in office to bring “a new era of openness” to federal government – and the subsequent executive orders and directives which were supposed to bring such openness about," the detailed letter states.
“This trend has been especially pronounced in the federal government. We consider these restrictions a form of censorship—an attempt to control what the public is allowed to see and hear,” the organizations stated in their letter.
The journalism organization's letter not only complained but also gave examples of incidents involving federal agency press secretaries and spokespeople stonewalling reporters’ requests to interview agency staff, dragging their feet to answer responses interview requests, and preventing reporters who write critically of agencies access to those agencies.
According to the letter, “a recent survey found 40 percent of public affairs officers admitted they blocked certain reporters because they did not like what they wrote.”
"In many cases, this is clearly being done to control what information journalists – and the audience they serve – have access to," the letter alleges.
Besides the SPJ, other groups signing the letter were the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Association of Opinion Journalists, Center for Media and Democracy, National Federation of Press Women, National Newspaper Association, Online News Association, and others.