President Barack Obama made a number of excellent points in his remarks at a Monday journalism award dinner honoring the late, great New York Times reporter Robin Toner, who died from complications of colon cancer at age 54 right after Obama’s 2008 election.
But his lecture on how we ought to be conducting ourselves might have gone down better if he had done more as president to support the kind of work that he rightly said “undergirds our democracy.”
(Instead, as The Associated Press recently reported, this administration set a record for the number of times it failed to comply with the Freedom of Information Act; one out of six times, those seeking information from the federal government were told that not a single relevant page could be located.)
Oh, and we might have been more willing to be schooled if his administration had done less to crack down on government employees suspected of leaking to the press. Or hadn’t seized those phone records from AP reporters, or put a tail on James Rosen of Fox News.