New York Times Editor Chides White House: Abramson says leaks are vital to democracy
Jill Abramson, New York Times executive editor, criticized the Obama administration’s aggressive prosecutions over leaks during a speech to journalists in Boston on Saturday, warning that White House policy “threatens to rob the public of vital information.”
Abramson, who took over as executive editor last September, said several reporters who have covered national security for decades have told her that “the environment has never been tougher or information harder to dislodge. One Times reporter told me, ‘The environment in Washington has never been more hostile to reporting,’ ” she said.
Abramson was the keynote speaker at the Investigative Reporters & Editors annual conference, which drew 1,200 journalists. The Boston Globe, which is owned by the New York Times Co., hosted the conference.
Abramson’s comments were made in the context of recent articles in The New York Times about the White House use of drones, or unmanned planes, to carry out targeted killings, and of cyber warfare, including computer worms, against Iran.
Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have urged the administration to investigate the recent disclosures of national security secrets, while the president has denied that his White House team is the source of the leaks.