By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Revelations that the Justice Department secretly got the phone records of reporters from the Associated Press in an attempt to track government leakers and whistleblowers has sent shockwaves across the world of journalism.

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Temple University journalism professor Chris Harper worked for more than 20 years in the media having spent time with the AP in Chicago, Newsweek magazine, and ABC News as a correspondent and investigative journalist.

He says the disclosures the government is spying on journalists is chilling.

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“It’s hard for me to believe that I would use Barack Obama and Richard Nixon in the same sentence,” he said. “But the tactics that the Obama Administration is using, particularly with respect to the Associated Press, are just like the days of Richard Nixon.”

Harper says he was surprised to hear Attorney General Eric Holder say Tuesday that he “recused” himself from the decision to secretly subpoena the reporters’ records.

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However, Harper says the buck stops with Holder and ultimately he is responsible for the actions of his subordinates.