Originally published May 20 2013
Associated Press chief starts to sound like Alex Jones: 'Government is unconstitutional...'
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The mainstream media has a lousy reputation for upholding the Bill of Rights, especially when it comes to the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms, the Fourth Amendment's right to privacy and the Tenth Amendment's limitation on federal power.
But when an imperial president wielding an imperial bureaucracy tramples on the First Amendment - look out: the media viciously guards its First Amendment right freedom of the press.
Nowhere is that more evident than from The Associated Press whose reporters were targeted by an overzealous "Justice" Department, which recently - and likely very unconstitutionally - tapped more than 20 phone lines of AP reporters, ostensibly to tamp down on "leaks."
'That's not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind
AP's CEO, Gary Pruitt, has been vigorously speaking out against the Department of Justice's actions, as the scandal broadens in scope by the day to now include a Fox News reporter [http://www.washingtonpost.com].
From the AP itself:
Gary Pruitt, in his first television interviews since it was revealed the Justice Department subpoenaed phone records of AP reporters and editors, said the move already has had a chilling effect on journalism. Pruitt said the seizure has made sources less willing to talk to AP journalists and, in the long term, could limit Americans' information from all news outlets.
During an interview with CBS News' "Face the Nation" program on Sunday, May 19, the AP chief said the government has stepped way out of bounds by monitoring its newsgathering activities.
"And if they restrict that apparatus ... the people of the United States will only know what the government wants them to know and that's not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment," he said.
In an interview with his own news organization, Pruitt said the news cooperative had yet to make a decision regarding its next move - to include legal action against the government. Pruitt added that the Department of Justice is acting like a rogue, out-of-control agency and that President Obama needed to get it under control.
"It's too early to know if we'll take legal action but I can tell you we are positively displeased and we do feel that our constitutional rights have been violated," said the AP exec. "They've been secretive, they've been overbroad and abusive - so much so that taken together, they are unconstitutional because they violate our First Amendment rights."
Sadly, a few lawmakers have sided with the Justice Department. One of them is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said May 19 of DoJ's targeting of the AP, "This is an investigation that needs to happen because national security leaks, of course, can get our agents overseas killed."
From all reports we've seen, no one has accused the AP of publishing leaked, classified information - and certainly not on the level of The New York Times and other large newspapers.
'It's a culture of cover-ups'
Other lawmakers said the real problem is not the press but those who do the leaking. That includes Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who also said the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, should conduct hearings to find out how Justice obtained phone records of AP reporters and editors.
"What confuses me is the focus on the press, who have a constitutional right here and we depend on the press to get to the bottom of so many issues that we, as individuals, cannot," Cornyn said, adding that DoJ's actions were part of a now well-established pattern of abuse, all to silence Obama critics.
"It's a culture of cover-ups and intimidation that is giving the administration so much trouble," said Cornyn, who also renewed an earlier call for Attorney General Eric Holder to step down amid a contempt citation issued by the House last year after he refused to turn over documents pertaining to "Operation Fast and Furious," the government's failed gun-walking sting that saw thousands of American guns flow to Mexican drug gangs.
The Obama administration is clearly out of control.
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