Speed Reads

Quotables

New York Times reporter: Obama is the 'greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation'

New York Times reporter James Risen says President Obama is an "enemy" of the press because of his administration's unprecedented crackdown on whistleblowers and reporters.

Speaking with Times colleague Maureen Dowd last week, Risen called Obama "the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation." Obama, he added, is also "hypocritical" considering how he and Attorney General Eric Holder recently defended the press against reports of intimidation by police in Ferguson, Missouri. (Police there detained two reporters and allegedly harassed others, leading Obama to declare that "police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs.")

"It's hypocritical," Risen said. "A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don't want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistle-blowers."

A Pulitzer Prize winner, Risen is fighting court orders compelling him to testify against an ex-CIA official accused of leaking classified intel. He made a similar comment earlier this year about Obama being a foe of the free press.