Editor's note: Fox News Correspondent James Rosen has been accused in a Justice Department affidavit of being a possible criminal "co-conspirator" for his alleged role in publishing sensitive security information -- in a leak case that takes the highly unusual step of claiming a journalist broke the law. According to court documents, the Justice Department obtained a portfolio of information about Fox News' James Rosen's conversations and visits to the State Department. This included a search warrant for his personal emails. Michael Clemente, Fox News' executive vice president of news, defended Rosen in a statement issued Monday afternoon: "We are outraged to learn today that James Rosen was named a criminal co-conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter," Clemente said. "In fact, it is downright chilling. We will unequivocally defend his right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press."
Here are just some of the journalists, media organizations, newspaper editorial boards and associations that have spoken out in support of Rosen since news of the investigation became public on Monday:
Dana Milbank, Washington Post columnist, May 22:
The Rosen affair is as flagrant an assault on civil liberties as anything done by George W. Bush's administration, and it uses technology to silence critics in a way Richard Nixon could only have dreamed of. To treat a reporter as a criminal for doing his job -- seeking out information the government doesn't want made public -- deprives Americans of the First Amendment freedom on which all other constitutional rights are based. Guns? Privacy? Due process? Equal protection? If you can't speak out, you can't defend those rights, either.
From Twitter: Ryan Lizza @RyanLizza (New Yorker magazine):
Case against Fox's Rosen, in which O admin is criminalizing reporting, makes all of the other "scandals" look like giant nothing burgers.
The New York Times, editorial board, May 22:
With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible ''co-conspirator'' in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news.
From Twitter: Jake Tapper, CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent:
Good to see so many progressives taking the principled stance on the DOJ's dangerous attack on Fox's James Rosen
From Twitter: Eli Lake @EliLake May 20, 2013 (national security correspondent for the Daily Beast and Newsweek magazine)
Serious idea. Instead of calling it Obama's war on whistleblowers, let's just call it what it is: Obama's war on journalism.
Michael Walsh, New York Post columnist, May 23:
The Justice Department’s secret seizure of phone records from The Associated Press and its monitoring of Fox News reporter James Rosen are nothing less than thuggish attempts to criminalize the practice of journalism — the only profession specifically protected by the US Constitution.
From Twitter: Keith Olbermann:
My experience dealing with @JamesRosenFNC was unpleasant and contentious. And I fully support him against this unwarranted act by DOJ
The Wall Street Journal, editorial board, May 21
With the Fox News search following the AP subpoenas, we now have evidence of a pattern of anti-media behavior. The suspicion has to be that maybe these "leak" investigations are less about deterring leakers and more about intimidating the press. We trust our liberal friends in the press corps won't mute their dismay merely because this time the target is a network they love to hate.
LA Daily News, Jonathan Dobrer, May 21, 2013:
The secret searches of emails and phone records of AP reporters and editors is an outrage. The criminalizing of Fox reporter James Rosen is an attack on the American people’s right to know what our government is doing. The chilling effect that these terrible policies can have on our nation is grave. It must not be allowed to stand.
Investor’s Business Daily, IBD Editorial, May 21, 2013
The Obama Objective: To Control the News
Much has been made of this White House's obsessive efforts to target leakers to an extent unknown in any other administration. But casting an over wide net now reaches into the operations of media organizations, threatening America's prized freedom of the press. And yes, we think the White House did it because Fox News is a dissident news organization, one an Obama operative called "not a news network at this point." Our question: When, and where, is this war against the media going to stop?
Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson, May 21, 2013
The Obama administration has no business rummaging through journalists’ phone records, perusing their emails and tracking their movements in an attempt to keep them from gathering news. This heavy-handed business isn’t chilling, it’s just plain cold.
Jacob Heilbrun, National Interest blog, May 22, 2013
...to suppose that Rosen would be involved in trying to subvert the American government is about as plausible as the idea that Obama secretly wants to slash taxes on the wealthy. Yet this is apparently the conclusion that the the Obama administration arrived at a few years when it went decided to go snooping through Rosen's emails.
Daily Caller, Jim Treacher, May 20, 2013
I am James Rosen
So are you. So is anybody who displeases this administration. For doing his job.
As a reporter, you’re not supposed to do that. You’re supposed to take what the Obama administration gives you, say please and thank you, and pass it along verbatim.
How many more? Where does it end?
Do you think you’re safe, just because you’re on “Obama’s side”? Just ask the Associated Press about that one. Obama doesn’t have a side. Obama is out for Obama. And if you cross him, his cronies will go after you.
This is an outrage. And you’d think so too, if they did it to you.
Assuming they haven’t yet.
Statement: The Committee to Protect Journalists, May 21, 2013:
The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by reports of a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the newsgathering activities of a Fox News reporter, which come a week after revelations that the government seized phone records of The Associated Press.