Two days ago, ABC News‘ Sr. White House Correspondent Jake Tapper confronted WH Press Secretary Jay Carney on the issue of ‘praising’ journalists after they passed away on the line of duty (in this case, the deaths of Marie Colvin & Rémi Ochlik in covering the unrest of Syria). There has been many times in this situation where we only appreciate one’s courage in covering a story in unpredictable situations like these, but in fairness.. there’s been times we’ve shown support and praise once the story/coverage has been made complete, especially during those challenging times as well.
But with the situation shown here, there’s been way too many praises for those after they passed away in the line of duty. Why is that? Here’s where I appreciate Mr. Tapper…
Check the partial transcript down below.
TAPPER: The White House keeps praising these journalists who are, who’ve been killed–
CARNEY: I don’t know about “keep.” I think–
TAPPER: You’ve done it, Vice President Biden did it in a statement. How does that square with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistleblowers to court? You’re–currently I think that you’ve invoked it the sixth time, and before the Obama administration, it had only been used three times in history. You’re–this is the sixth time you’re suing a CIA officer for allegedly providing information in 2009 about CIA torture. Certainly that’s something that’s in the public interest of the United States. The administration is taking this person to court. There just seems to be disconnect here. You want aggressive journalism abroad; you just don’t want it in the United States.
CARNEY: Well, I would hesitate to speak to any particular case, for obvious reasons, and I would refer you to the Department of Justice for more on that. I think we absolutely honor and praise the bravery of reporters who are placing themselves in extremely dangerous situations in order to bring a story of oppression and brutality to the world. I think that is commendable, and it’s certainly worth noting by us. And as somebody who knew both Anthony and Marie, I particularly appreciate what they did to bring that story to the American people. I–as for other cases, again, without addressing any specific case, I think that there are issues here that involve highly sensitive classified information, and I think that, you know, those are–divulging or to–divulging that kind of information is a serious issue, and it always has been.
TAPPER: So the truth should come out abroad, it shouldn’t come out here?
CARNEY: Well, that’s not at all what I’m saying, Jake, and you know it’s not. Again, I can’t–specific–
TAPPER: That’s what the Justice Department’s doing.
CARNEY: Well, you’re making a judgment about a broad array of cases, and I can’t address those specifically.
TAPPER: It’s also the judgment that a lot of whistleblowers’ organizations and good government groups are making as well.
CARNEY: Not one that I’m going to make.
If you want to see the video of the exchange, go here. To even further prove Jake Tapper’s point, he even provided the links to prove his case (and may I suggest you read them in its entirety?).
- War On Whistleblowers (via The Atlantic Wire)
- “I like you whistleblowers, but not anymore…” (via The New Yorker)
- Rules Of American Justice: A Tale Of Three Cases (via Glen Greenwald’s blog)
- “Punish The Whistleblowers..” (via Salon.com)
- Obama Takes a Hard Line Against Leaks To Press (via NYT)