Our mainstream news media generally have treated Barack Obama with adoration since he emerged on the national political scene, and when he has gotten into trouble, they have ignored it or generally given him the benefit of the doubt. Most recently, this was true in the reporting -- or lack thereof -- of the massive failure that led to four American diplomats being killed by al-Qaida in Benghazi. But the media are treating the tax and surveillance scandals differently. Unlike the other scandals, this behavior by the administration is hitting close to home.
Most journalists in America agree with many of the intrusive government policies, unless it is their freedom upon which government is infringing. The media might want to look at the events over the past decade in Venezuela, where the late President Hugo Chavez brought a huge expansion of government and centralized power and then used his intelligence assets to stifle political and media opponents. This is what leftist leaders do around the world; they control the news media, use bureaucrats to suppress dissent and obscure the truth.
On May 3, 2012, World Press Freedom Day, President Obama issued a statement saying: "On this World Press Freedom Day, the United States honors the role of a free press in creating sustainable democracies and prosperous societies. ... We call on all governments to protect the ability of journalists, bloggers, and dissidents to write and speak freely without retribution."
Is it not shocking that during this very same week, the Obama Justice Department was secretly obtaining the phone records on 20 lines from the world's largest and oldest news wire service, attempting to uncover the source of a possible information leak from the government?
Americans are seeing here the ugly side of the liberal, big-government philosophy they voted for last fall. This is what you get when government gets too big and intrusive. It tramples on your basic rights.
Remarkably, statements from responsible voices from across the ideological spectrum have condemned these actions by the Obama administration. How about that? After 4 1/2 years, President Obama finally has done something to bring both sides together in Washington.
Former Senator Rick Santorum is the author of Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works.
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