Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 5, 2013/ 27 Sivan 5773

Take Obama at his word? Which one --- and when?

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In a somersault of a speech, President Barack Obama, sounding like he did when he first ran for the Oval Office, recently declared that "a free press is also essential for our democracy. That's who we are" ("Obama, in Nod to Press, Orders Review of Inquiries," The New York Times, May 24).

He subsequently ordered a review of his Justice Department's subpoena of the phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors during an investigation of national security leaks. This, of course, affects any of us who care about a free press.

"I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable," the president orated.

It seems there are at least two Obamas -- one who is wary of press disclosures of any leaks from the White House, and another who supports freedom of the press.

Even those Americans who still trust the president must have been jarred by his choice of who would conduct this review: Attorney General Eric Holder, who oversaw the Justice Department's undermining of press freedom.

The New York Post's Michael A. Walsh reminds us of what my First Amendment hero, Justice Hugo Black, once said: "Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government" ("The 'Criminal' Press," Walsh, New York Post, May 23).

Even more jarring to continuing admirers of Obama, as well as his rising number of unbelievers, were the ground rules laid out for those representatives of major news outlets who were invited to privately discuss the proceedings with the attorney general.

Dig this: The meetings, concerning the administration's government violations of the First Amendment, were to be "off the record."

In other words, you citizens are not entitled to know what was said. How could a journalist, a member of what constitutionalists used to call "The Fourth Estate," attend such a gathering, only to be utterly silenced?

Refusing to attend the meetings out of self-respect were the AP (of course), CBS News, Fox News, CNN, The New York Times and the New York Post.

So what are some of the news organizations that went, thereby agreeing to classify their reactions in accordance with the very government they were investigating?

The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and ABC News, which, in an ironic bow to the First Amendment, "would press for the meeting to be held on the record" ("Fox News, other media outlets refuse off-record meeting with Holder," foxnews.com, May 31).

But what if Attorney General Holder threw that demand back in ABC News' face? Would its journalists still agree to gag their First Amendment rights at the investigation?

What all of this comes down to, as it may affect future administrations as well as generations of Americans, has been precisely underlined by Glenn Greenwald, an incisive journalist who would have given James Madison hope for the First Amendment's future.

Writing about how "media outlets and journalists have finally awakened to the serious threat posed by the Obama administration to press freedoms, whistle blowing and transparency," the question now, Greenwald demands, is:

"What, if anything, will they (journalists) do to defend the press freedoms they claim to value? ... Thwarting government attacks like these ... requires a real adversary posture, renouncing their subservience to government interests and fear of alienating official sources.

"It remains to be seen whether any of that will happen" ("Will journalists take any steps to defend against attacks on press freedom?" Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, May 29).

Greenwald goes on to question the future of a fundamentally free press: "If journalists aren't willing to defend these freedoms, who do they think will?"

He then explains how the Founders made sure that our freedoms of belief and action would survive in an increasingly heterogeneous society:

"The design of the American founding was that abuses of power would be prevented only by various factions fighting for their prerogatives and against encroachment by other power factions.

"When it comes to attacks on press freedoms, it's the responsibility of journalists, first and foremost, to fight against those attacks."

According to The Huffington Post's media reporter Michael Calderone, whom Greenwald cites in his commentary, some journalists don't appear to be putting up much of a fight: "Several veteran reporters told The Huffington Post that it's unlikely the press corps would band together in any collective action, such as walking out of the briefing room, to protest the administration's treatment of the press" ("White House Reporters Unlikely to Stage Press Freedom Protest," Calderone, huffingtonpost.com, May 22).

"It would be unprofessional," CBS News radio correspondent Mark Knoller told Calderone.

As Ann Compton, the ABC News White House correspondent, explained: "White House briefings are not advocacy sessions," later adding that the "strongest voices in journalism for protecting press freedoms remain the collective Washington bureau chiefs" and "independent reporters' organizations, which do lobby for such issues as shield laws (protections for journalists who refuse to identify confidential sources without firm due process before a court of law)."

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, whose Steering Committee I belong to, works to do just that, representing 51 media organizations in this crisis. But the federal shield law compromise it supports still provides openings for any administration to do what Obama and Holder have triumphantly done in controlling the press.

We need a shield law with teeth!

Reporters and editors also must organize to use the First Amendment for what the Framers intended: to prevent the government from protecting itself at the expense of keeping We The People ignorant and powerless. The United States is supposed to act in our name.

We freed ourselves from King George III, and we must insist on a free press so that we can be free again. And we must make sure candidates for every office agree to protect and represent the right that constitutes the very essence of who we are as Americans: freedom of speech.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

Nat Hentoff Archives

© 2013, NEA

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast