If the news media were ever as smitten with Barack Obama as many conservative critics say they are, the president has been doing his best to help them get over it.
His Justice Department subpoenaed a wealth of phone records from The Associated Press in a leak investigation. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press joined with 51 news organizations, including Tribune Co., to denounce this "overreaching dragnet" and demand "that any similar actions in the future be handled with greater consideration of the news media's First Amendment rights."
Even more alarming was the discovery that the FBI accused a Fox News reporter of committing a crime by disclosing secret information. The FBI got a search warrant that allowed it to read the private emails of reporter James Rosen, who in 2009 reported that North Korea was likely to react to a condemnatory United Nations resolution by carrying out a nuclear test. The warrant application suggested Rosen could be indicted under the Espionage Act — which is designed to catch spies and has never been used against a reporter. A Fox News executive correctly labeled the threat "downright chilling."