“Aside from her unceremonious firing, former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson is perhaps best known for her assertion that the Obama administration is the most secretive of any she has covered, and in 22 years in Washington, that covers a lot of White Houses. She got plenty of grief from President Obama’s top aides in the aftermath, and while other journalists made the same observation, Abramson’s words carried weight, coming as they did from the prestigious newspaper’s first female top editor.”
Abramson, spoke Wednesday, July 9th, at the Chautauqua Institution in NY. The former award winning editor examined “The Ethics of Privacy”, exposing her behind the scene exchanges with both the Bush and Obama administrations. According to Newsbusters,
“It’s a question of balancing competing interests, the government’s claims versus the public’s right to know. When someone says, ‘You’ll have blood on your hands,’ you pause and take it very seriously, she said, explaining how her views evolved from the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when she and other key media figures were on a conference call with Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer and at his request agreed with apparently no dissent not to publish anything about the sources or methods the intelligence community was using in the aftermath of the attacks. ‘It was an easy commitment to make’ she said. ‘And for a few years, we didn’t publish anything that would break that agreement.’”
Though President Bush personally requested the NYT to not publish the story, which they had for over a year, on warrantless wiretapping of suspected terrorist contacts, they decided to publish it.
“For all that, Abramson notes that Bush did not launch a criminal investigation to find the source of the Times story. “Obama is very different,” she said, pointing out that he has ordered eight criminal investigations into whistleblowers, twice the number of all previous presidents combined, and a year ago secretly subpoenaed the phone and email records of reporters at Fox News and the Associated Press.
In addition, Abramson exposed the Obama Administration for their secret subpoenaing of phone and email records of reporters at Fox News and the Associated Press.”