- The Washington Times - Monday, October 7, 2013

A New York Times reporter with two decades of experience as a Washington, D.C., based journalist says that the Obama administration is far from open and has a long way to go to meet its campaign vows of a transparent government.

Bluntly, David Sanger said the Obama administration is a “control-freak administration,” a characterization that’s sure to sting given the president’s campaign trail insistence at bringing transparency to the political process, Politico reported.

Mr. Sanger issued the criticisms in a report on U.S. freedom of the press, written by a former editor at The Washington Post, Leonard Downie Jr. The report also said that national security reporters face “vast and unprecedented challenged” because of the government’s “sophisticated control” of the news media’s ability to gain access to government.

Mr. Sanger said the White House, unhappy with one of his stories, at one point ordered staffers to keep all correspondence with him — and faced negative feedback for speaking with him.

In 2012, “a memo went out from the chief of staff … to White House employees and the intelligence agencies that told people to freeze and retain any email, and presumably phone logs, of communications with me,” Mr. Sanger said, in Mr. Downie’s report. And now sources tell him: “David, I love you, but don’t email me. Let’s don’t chat” for a while.

Mr. Sanger’s response?

“This is the most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered,” he said, in the report.