CBS anchor Bob Schieffer ripped President Barack Obama amid a recent duo of leak investigations involving news organisations that Schieffer said were “hurting his credibility.”
Schieffer, a Washington veteran who has spent more than four decades at CBS, said that no past or future administration could compare to the Nixon administration’s manipulative ways. But he said that the Obama administration, like every administration, has found new ways to be more secretive than the last.
“It’s reached the point that if I want to interview anyone in the administration on camera, from the lowest-level worker to a top White House official, I have to go through the White House press office,” Schieffer said.
“If their chosen spokesman turns out to have no direct connection to the story of the moment — as was the case when U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was sent out to explain the Benghazi episode — then that’s what we, and you, the taxpayer, get. And it usually isn’t much.”
Schieffer’s comments came amid two recent episodes that have led to criticism of the Obama administration. Two weeks ago, the Associated Press said the Justice Department had secretly obtained a handful of journalists’ phone records. And last week, a case in which Fox News reporter James Rosen was treated as a “co-conspirator” in a leak earned renewed scrutiny.
On that note, Schieffer said he was glad that Obama had asked Attorney General Eric Holder to review the department’s guidelines for investigations that involve journalists. But Schieffer questioned whether it would be effective, since Holder has taken a direct role in at least the Fox News case.
“The President needs to rethink his entire communications policy, top to bottom,” he said. “It is hurting his credibility and shortchanging the public.
“And to head the review, how about someone other than the Attorney General, whose department is so deeply involved? That makes no sense to me.”
Watch the clip below, via CBS:
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