Chuck Todd: Obama Administration Wants to 'Criminalize Journalism'

May 22nd, 2013 10:18 AM

As more revelations surface concerning the White House targeting press members, more and more of Barack Obama's fans in the media are breaking ranks.

Count NBC's chief White House correspondent amongst them, for on MSNBC's Morning Joe Wednesday, Chuck Todd actually said, "They want to criminalize journalism" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: I don't know if you saw the top of this show, but at 6:15 we had Cokie Roberts and Al Hunt, Steve Rattner. And Cokie and Al, not Tea Party patriots, absolutely shocked as am I what this justice department did, not only to the AP, but now to Fox News. Tracing five lines inside Fox News's Washington bureau. You add on top of that also people inside the White House talking about the Espionage Act against a reporter who did exactly what reporters have been doing for 200 years. It's almost as if Eric Holder and Barack Obama never read the Pentagon's Paper, Papers case. We’ve been having this fight for 200 years and they are talking about espionage?

CHUCK TODD: No, and this seems to be, you know, what's funny is I think candidate Obama if George Bush and Dick Cheney were doing this, imagine what candidate Obama would say. Candidate Obama would be unloading. There’d be a lot of Democrats that would be unloading on the administration if they were this and they were trying to crack down on leaks. This is, you can't look at this and see it as anything other than an attempt to basically scare anybody from ever leaking anything ever again.

So they want to criminalize journalism. And that's what it's coming down, I mean, if you end up essentially criminalizing journalism or when it comes to reporting on the federal government, particularly on national security, and the only place they can, they think they technically can do that is on the issues of national security. What it's going to do is the impact that we’ve heard, we heard the AP counsel say this over the weekend. It is going to make whistleblowers, and people that might leak, regular sources. You know, I’ve had different conversations with people over the last week who are sitting there not quite comfortable having certain conversations on the phone. I mean, it just completely, and maybe that's the intent. I can't think of any other intent of why they’re going about this in such a broad harassing sort of way.

This came a few hours after Al Hunt said Obama is "no better than Richard Nixon."

One gets the sense this White House has finally gone too far for even liberal media members.

(HT Washington Free Beacon)