- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 26, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Reporters Without Borders is a noble and proud organization that does very good work representing journalists across the globe engaged in fights against totalitarian regimes. That’s why their latest “Press Freedom Index” is an outrage for declaring that the free press is under assault in Trump’s America. 

According to the index, America has fallen to 45th out of 180 nations when it comes to press freedom. The reason? President Trump says mean things about reporters. 

More and more democratically-elected leaders no longer see the media as part of democracy’s essential underpinning, but as an adversary to which they openly display their aversion. The United States, the country of the First Amendment, has fallen again in the Index under Donald Trump, this time two places to 45th. A media-bashing enthusiast, Trump has referred to reporters “enemies of the people,” the term once used by Joseph Stalin.

If Reporters Without Borders wants any level of credibility they probably should report the full and accurate truth when describing Trump’s statements. For the record, President Trump has NOT “referred to reporters ‘enemies of the people,’” he referred to “fake news media” as “enemies of the American people.” 

 

That’s right, while decrying President Trump’s rhetoric against reporters who sloppily or willfully report false or misleading information for their own political purposes, Reporters Without Borders has reported false and misleading information for their own political purposes. 

Meanwhile, the fact is despite President Trump’s rhetoric against media outlets who deliver an unprecedented 90% negative coverage of his presidency, his actual actions have been quite accommodating to the press compared to his predecessor. 

Photographers have repeatedly praised the access they’ve been granted compared to the state run propaganda delivered under Obama: 

We’re getting a lot more, I mean from a photographer’s standpoint, we get a lot more access to the president. I see him more on a daily basis than we did with Barack Obama,” [NY Times photographer Doug] Mills said.

The veteran photographer said more access to the president and the Oval Office allows them to be creative and give people a better idea of what’s happening in the room.

And what about reporters?

Jonathan Karl, the ABC White House reporter, had a surprising comment after Monday’s impromptu press conference by President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “I have probably had more opportunities to ask questions of President Trump over the past two weeks than I had of President Obama during the last two years of his presidency.”

And how did Obama treat reporters who received leaks during his administration?  Ask James Rosen who was named an un-indicted co conspirator in a DOJ sting and was under surveillance. Or Sharyl Atkisson who has charged the DOJ with hacking and tampering with her computer equipment. How about the Associated Press whose phones were tapped by Obama’s press police? 

But Obama didn’t say mean things about the media on Twitter and he cracked jokes with them at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner so he was good and Trump is Stalin

While actual dictators kill reporters around the world for exercising their craft, Reporters Without Borders diminishes their own important and essential work by crying wolf on the nation that invented freedom of the press in the first place. 


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