Ryan Lizza tried to bring perspective to this weeks Reliable Sources:
John Mitchell's DOJ never tried to criminalize reporting. J. Edgar Hoover wasn't willing to use the Espionage Act to go after leaks like the Pentagon Papers. No FBI man was willing to go before a judge and claim that Jack Anderson was a dangerous spy.
LIZZA: Can I just -- at the risk of being in the position of the scandal I care about is more important than the scandal you care about, the IRS and Benghazi are very important. Long-term, though, what the Justice Department did the search warrant, they crossed a line that no administration has ever crossed. The Nixon administration didn't do it, the Bush administration considered doing it and there was an uproar --
KURTZ: And in talking about that line, let's make that line bright, red, and clear. This search warrant referred to James Rosen, widely respected FOX News correspondent, as a co-conspirator or potential co- conspirator. He hasn't been charged. He's not going to be charged. It was a way of getting at his e-mails to track this leak investigation.
That in and of itself is a sea change you're saying?
LIZZA: It's a sea change. I would challenge the last parted of that, Howie. I think if you look at all -- everything they did in the early parts of this investigation, they were pursuing a criminal conspiracy between James Rosen and Kim. Some people are saying, oh, they were never going to charge Rosen to begin with. I'm not so sure about that. If you read the language of the warrant, they were saying this guy is engaged in espionage with the State Department official and we've got to go get his e-mails.
If you look at what separately they went into federal court and they said we can't tell Rosen ever about the search warrants because we may need to go back and monitor his e-mail account indefinitely if we find evidence of further crimes.
So, that's the line that they crossed. They suggested that potentially you could indict a member of the media for doing routine reporting.
If Nixon had had Eric Holder, Ronald C. Machen, Jr, Bob Mueller and Special Agent Reginald Reyes on his team, there would have been no need for the Plumbers. No Plumbers, no "White House horrors", hence no White house cover-up of the Watergate break-in.
Eric Holder believes that Nixon could have got what he wanted legally.
It's bizarro world.
Obama 'worse than Nixon' for press freedoms
President Barack Obama is the biggest threat to press freedom, one of the hallmarks of a true democracy, the United States has seen since former President Nixon, according to attorney James Goodale, widely seen as “the father of reporters' privileges.”
Goodale is best known for using the First Amendment of the US Constitution to successfully defend the New York Times after the paper published the Pentagon Papers in 1971.