In another, investigators seized the phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen, searched his personal e-mails, tracked his visits to the State Department and traced the timing of his phone conversations with Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a State Department security adviser. Kim was charged in 2010 as the suspected source of a Fox News report about North Korean nuclear weapon testing. Perhaps most disturbing, documents related to the secret search warrant for Rosen’s phone and e-mail records cited him as a co-conspirator in the espionage case.
This appeared to journalists to put Rosen in unprecedented jeopardy for doing his job. Although the president said in his speech Thursday that “journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs,” he was nevertheless adamant about pursuing government officials who he said “break the law,” presumably by discussing national security matters and other classified information with reporters, even if that scares off officials from becoming whistle-blowers or even having any contact with reporters.
Downie, who is the paper’s vice president at-large and also spent nearly two decades as the paper’s executive editor, also says that the administration “has disregarded the First Amendment and intimidated a growing number of government sources of information — most of which would not be classified — that is vital for journalists to hold leaders accountable.”