Sean Astin Calls Assertion that Obama Administration Is Most Restrictive to Press ‘Ludicrous’

Hollywood actor and radio talk show host Sean Astin disagrees with USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, who called the Obama administration “more restrictive” to the press than any other in history.

Astin is best known for playing the title role in the film Rudy and Sam Gamgee in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He currently hosts Vox Populi, a political radio show.

“Was she [Page] alive during the Bush administration? I’m not convinced. I don’t know how you compare those two. The Bush administration was pretty restrictive,” Astin told PJ Media after an event on Monday hosted by the National Press Club's Young Members Committee.

“That’s her job – she knows how to do it.  You know what, if she’s saying it, then there must be a reason for it. I would love to read that article and see it because basically, my instinct about it is – and now I’ve learned not to lead with my instincts – but I think that is ludicrous,” he also said.

The White House is “more restrictive” and “more dangerous” to the press than any other administration to date, Page said on Oct. 25 at a White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) seminar, according to the Washington Post.

The Post pointed out that Nina Pham, the Texas nurse that finished her Ebola treatment at the National Institutes of Health, recently visited the White House but print reporters and TV cameras were shut out.

During his speech at the National Press Club event, Astin told the audience that the state of journalism is “not so strong” at the moment.

“I really didn’t think I would come here and do this but really what I’m doing is saying that the state of journalism as I’m experiencing it – not so strong right now, I’m sorry, I hate to be the one to report it but I’ll notice when I get in an interview and somebody – even people who are assigned the subject matter who would really rather be covering the Pope or some substantive newsmaker or some kind of bonafide, interesting, socially concrete interview or story – but they get assigned to me for whatever reason and they take their job seriously,” Astin said.

“They prepare and they show up and end up providing something to their outlet – that’s a little bit different. It’s so nice. I love being interviewed by guys or girls who write books at the same time. It’s something about their thinking at that point that just makes it fun.”