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A new low for US Committee to Protect Journalists

Published: October 17, 2016, 9:45 am

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    Not one single publication in the United States, a nation of 319 million, has endorsed the GOP front runner and outsider Donald Trump for president.

    Writing in the National Review, Fox News contributor Jonah Goldberg agrees, but instead blames Trump for media’s glaring shortcomings: “Yes, the media is particularly biased against Donald Trump. Not only is Trump an exceptionally unworthy presidential candidate on the merits, but he does everything he possibly can to maximize the endemic problems of liberal-media bias.”

    According to Goldberg’s contorted logic, Trump is causing the liberal bias and is to be blamed for exposing it too.

    Three weeks before the general election, the allegedly “free press” is either censoring anything that would annoy the country’s oligarchs, or blaming it on Trump. From Syria to Yemen and the WikiLeaks drop, mainstream publications are mum. The only subject the screeds seems to agree on, is the take-down of Trump.

    And while the Democratic campaign rants on about Russia, the leaked Podesta files exposing the Clinton adviser’s ties to the Russian mafia and their contributions to the Clinton Foundation for technology transfers, is all but ignored.

    In their “shock and awe” campaign, the media has pointed to right and wrong regarding the rightwing contender, but not a right and wrong when it comes to what the Clintons, and the Democratic Party elites do and say.

    There’s a 73-page police report detailing how Al Gore made unwanted sexual advances during an encounter with a massage therapist back in 2006. She gave police a very detailed description of her encounter with Gore at the Hotel Lucia in Portland, Oregon. The explosive allegation gets no media play and isn’t used to discredit Gore or his candidate, Hillary Clinton, with whom he shared the stage on October 11.

    Gallup says public trust in the media is at an all-time low. But exposing the bias requires taking the offensive against the liars and Trump has shown that he is up for the job.

    That is probably why the “Committee to Protect Journalists”, has now upped the ante by accusing Trump of threatening “freedom of the press”. The CPJ is demanding, without irony, the right to print false and libelous news.

    According to the CPJ, not being able to print false and libelous articles, is a “disregard for the constitutional free press principle”.

    The ridiculous and hysterical charges against Trump also include his so-called sanctioning of “attacks” by his supporters on leftwing “journalists”, but apart from some hacks being refused press cards to Republican rallies to write their vitriolic agitprop, no evidence of these “attacks” exist.

    The hyperbolic and disingenuous statement by the CPJ, riddled with staple Democratic slogans to boot, concludes that their attempt to smear Trump is not “about picking sides in the election”.

    The CPJ statement reads as follows:

    Donald Trump, through his words and actions as a candidate for president of the United States, has consistently betrayed First Amendment values. On October 6, CPJ’s board of directors passed a resolution declaring Trump an unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists and to CPJ’s ability to advocate for press freedom around the world.

    Since the beginning of his candidacy, Trump has insulted and vilified the press and has made his opposition to the media a centerpiece of his campaign. Trump has routinely labeled the press as “dishonest” and “scum” and singled out individual news organizations and journalists.

    Trump has refused to condemn attacks on journalists by his supporters. His campaign has also systematically denied press credentials to outlets that have covered him critically, including The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Politico, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Univision, and The Des Moines Register.

    Throughout his campaign, Trump has routinely made vague proposals to limit basic elements of press and internet freedom. At a rally in February, Trump declared that if elected president he would “open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” In September, Trump tweeted, “My lawyers want to sue the failing @nytimes so badly for irresponsible intent. I said no (for now), but they are watching. Really disgusting.”

    While some have suggested that these statements are rhetorical, we take Trump at his word. His intent and his disregard for the constitutional free press principle are clear.

    A Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the United States, but the consequences for the rights of journalists around the world could be far more serious. Any failure of the United States to uphold its own standards emboldens dictators and despots to restrict the media in their own countries. This appears to be of no concern to Trump, who indicated that he has no inclination to challenge governments on press freedom and the treatment of journalists.

    […]Through his words and actions, Trump has consistently demonstrated a contempt for the role of the press beyond offering publicity to him and advancing his interests.

    For this reason CPJ is taking the unprecedented step of speaking out now. This is not about picking sides in an election. This is recognizing that a Trump presidency represents a threat to press freedom unknown in modern history.

    karin@praag.org

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    • Eric Bligan

      May the force be with Trump.
      May the anarchist, green/liberal commies and their
      subsidizing half-deads swiftly be done with.

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