It’s one thing for the government to take internal steps to close down leaks. It may or may not be good policy, but it is not a threat to journalistic freedom per sé. It makes it harder for journalists to get some kinds of information, but journalists are not supposed to be guaranteed access to information, only the freedom to print what they can get.
It’s another thing entirely for the government to bully and spy on reporters in an attempt to intimidate them away from seeking and printing information that is available to them. The reporter should never be the criminal. If a leaker is determined to be a criminal, there should not be any backlash against the journalist just for passing on what the leaker passed to him.
Note: “printing” is intended here as a generic term covering all journalism outlets, including audio, video, internet, etc.
It’s not clear from the quote whether RWB is conflating these two things or not. But I do agree that the U.S. government seems to be doing its best to imitate a repressive government when it comes to journalists and leaks.
And I will take this opportunity to plug my favorite NPR program on this general topic, “On The Media.” Highly recommended.