For civil libertarians, the administration of President Barack Obama fallen well short of the great expectations from his first election. Indeed, despite his high polling numbers with liberals, President Obama has left one of the worst records of modern presidents in areas like privacy, press freedom, transparency, and unilateral executive action. The antagonistic position of the Obama Administration with the media was evident in this year’s ranking by Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. is ranked 41 out of 180 countries in term of the “level of freedom of information in 180 countries.”
While this reflects a slight improvement from 2015 when the U.S. was ranked 49, the organization felt compelled to warn that the “relative improvement by comparison hides overall negative trends.” One of the driving factors cited by Reporters Without Borders has been the Obama Administration’s “war on whistleblowers who leak information about its surveillance activities, spying and foreign operations, especially those linked to counter-terrorism.”
Civil libertarians have been mystified by the disconnect between the actions of the Obama Administration against press freedom, privacy, and other areas and how the Administration is viewed by liberals. These were once the touchstones of liberals and Democrats. The ranking of the U.S. is a disgrace for a nation that was once the gold standard for press freedom. Former Attorney General Eric Holder showed little regard for such protections. However, the ultimate responsibility for this record must be laid at the feet of the President. This is his Administration and he will leave a troubling legacy in attacking the basic guarantees of a free press.
Here is the report: Reporters Without Borders