Fox News reacted aggressively on Monday to the news that one of its reporters had been heavily targeted by the Justice Department.
The DOJ's surveillance of James Rosen--and, especially, its contention that he was a "co-conspirator" in a criminal case simply because he encouraged a source to given him information--sent shockwaves throughout the journalism world. Fox News, which has often taken hits in the past for its hyperbolic opposition to the Obama administration, suddenly had a real scandal in its backyard, and it did not shy away from going after the DOJ.
The network gave a statement to TV Newser denouncing the investigation, calling it "downright chilling":
"We are outraged to learn today that James Rosen was named a criminal co-conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter. 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."
Brit Hume, the longtime anchor for the network, also appeared multiple times throughout the day to condemn the targeting of Rosen.
"The Obama-Holder Justice Department is now prepared to treat the ordinary newsgathering activities of reporters trying to seek information from government officials as a possible crime," he said.