Angry Over White House Leaks, Sessions Threatens Press Freedom

GUEST: Robert Jensen, a Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of numerous books that we have featured on this show, including, Arguing for Our Lives: A User's Guide to Constructive Dialogue; and We Are All Apocalyptic Now: On the Responsibilities of Teaching, Preaching, Reporting, Writing, and Speaking Out. His latest book is called The End Of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men.

BACKGROUND: Jeff Sessions on Friday made a strongly worded announcement about his Justice Department cracking down on internal leaks. Despite the fact that President Trump has publicly undermined Sessions on Twitter, the Attorney General said he, "strongly agree[s] with the president and condemn[s] in the strongest terms the staggering number of leaks undermining the ability of our government to protect this country."Sessions announced that the number of government investigations into leaks had tripled under the Trump administration and that there were four people who have so far been charged. Sessions also ominously said that the DOJ would be reviewing policies for subpoenaing media outlets that publish leaked information.

The announcement has press freedom and civil rights groups worried. The ACLU released a statement saying, "Every American should be concerned about the Trump administration’s threat to step up its efforts against whistleblowers and journalists. A crackdown on leaks is a crackdown on the free press and on democracy as a whole."

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