He's not saying anything that's going to toast his rear end. At any rate as long as you can back up what your saying with some unbiased fact even government muzzle restraint can't get you fired. Only blacklisted. Speaking personally of course. Let them eat cucumber sandwiches.
--insubordination... is one of the things you can get disciplined for and with a few strikes get fired for.
--thus if you are told not to speak directly with reporters and you do you will be charged with insubordination.
--the order is usually much more sleazy... you will be told you can talk to reporters only if the questions and answers are pre-approved by your supervisor or that you can speak to reporters if given sufficient notice (unless writing a book no reporter wants to wait 30 days for an answer) .. thus they can claim that you are free to speak with reporters when in fact you are not.
--this then puts the pressure on the person rather than the or department as reporters then claim that you are not being cooperative or that you are being evasive, as your supervisor or department will claim when asked that you are allowed to talk to reporters, but they will neglect to indicate the conditions imposed upon you.