Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Obama, Holder Sharply Curtail Press Freedom

Peter B. Collins Presents Pulitzer Prize Winner David Cay Johnston

Following the recent conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors, David Cay Johnston wrote a commentary for al Jazeera America, detailing the loss of transparency and freedom of the press under Obama. His first signal was when people in the White House press office would not give their names when he asked; six years on, the track record of investigating and prosecuting journalists—often under the Espionage Act--clearly shows that this administration has one of the worst records. We discuss Snowden/Greenwald/Omidyar, and Johnston reveals that Pando recently fired David Sirota for his tough reporting on New Jersey Gov. Christie.

*David Cay Johnston won the Pulitzer prize for his reporting at the New York Times; he also wrote for the Los Angeles Times. Presently, he writes a column for al Jazeera and one for Newsweek. He is editor of the new book Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality. Read his al Jazeera commentary here

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  1. colinjames says:

    I have a lot of respect for DK-J, but I’m a little conflicted about his views on some things. He’s obviously very intelligent. Articulate. Great writer. Distinguished career. Cares about America. I agree with much of what he says and all in all a pretty decent interview, but he talks about some of these things like it’s all a future threat, as if there’s still a chance to fix it all through the existing system if voters would just pay attention and elect the right people, something that’s threatened by the current assault on press freedoms. Did he not get the memo- public opinion means absolutely nothing? Zero influence on policy? No? He seems perfectly happy with MSM except for Fox News, calls Putin a “bad guy” and a “thug”- and sure, he’s no angel- but what does that make Obama? He’s critical of his record on secrecy, and prosecuting journalists and whistleblowers, but otherwise I get the feeling he’s somewhat of an apologist for empire, or maybe just seems to think all we need is a few tweaks here and there- and if the economy were to pick up and voters would read the NY Times more, everything would be just dandy. We’re way past that point, and the rot in the system is so ubiquitous I don’t know if he really sees it for what it is. I don’t know his views on every issue, but he’s a little milquetoasty in his criticisms,
    although for an establishment journalist I suppose he’s damn near a radical.

  2. Guest was never challenged. This sounded a little bit like a white wash. Compare to episode 26 with Levine. Follow through with the info from Tice. Why was this so easily side-stepped with such arbitrary excuses? What would it mean if high level officials were targeted? Or is the guest’s chest inflation really that effective at totally shutting down the line of questioning? He turned it into a condescending ass kissing session. Yes, compare, at least, to Processing Distortion 26, where the guest, at least, has an ounce of humility.

  3. Not terribly impressed either… The ‘nothing to see here’ dismissal of certain Obama scandals like Fast and Furious, IRS, Benghazi only indicates that he really hasn’t looked into them or he’s just being intellectually dishonest through partisan blinkers. And, his characterization of Al Jazeera as a top-notch professional news organization set off a host of alarm bells… Remember, this network outstripped even the worst of U.S. news outlets in cheer-leading for the NATO war in Libya – and we’re supposed believe him that Al Jazeera’s bosses (Qatari royals) are completely hands off when it comes to journalistic decision-making? Not buying it. He’s a gate-keeper, as the excuse-making for the Greenwald/Omidyar deal indicates.

    Why don’t you guys interview a real outsider journalist like Wayne Madsen? He’s someone who is definitely left leaning but doesn’t provide cover for the Obama admin. while pretending to be “adversarial”.

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