Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

World Press Freedom Day Is A Terrifying Reminder Of What Reporters Could Face If Trump Is Elected

If the way Donald Trump and his supporters have treated journalists during the campaign is any indication, the media will be anything but free if he wins the presidency.

World Press Freedom Day, commemorated on Tuesday, comes just days after a GQ writer was hit with a barrage of antisemitic attacks following the publication of an article that criticized Melania Trump’s skincare line. After Trump’s wife called Julia Ioffe’s piece “dishonest” and “disingenuous,” the journalist said she received phone calls threatening her life and messages referencing the Holocaust.

It’s unsurprising the Trump fans would react so harshly to a journalist considering the way the Republican presidential front-runner has treated and spoken about them:

  •     Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was arrested in March after manhandling Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. Though prosecutors eventually dropped the charges, they said there’s no doubt that the incident happened, despite team Trump’s initial denials.
  •     The Trump campaign has blocked several reporters from attending events, including Politico’s Ben Schreckinger, BuzzFeed’s McCay Coppins and Mother Jones’ Pema Levy. In January, The New York Times’ Trip Gabriel said he was told that a Trump appearance at an Iowa pizza restaurant was a private event, even though there were over a dozen reporters there covering it.
  •     The businessman has thrown journalists out of events for covering things in a way he didn’t like. The Sun Sentinel’s Michael Mayo said he was kicked out of a rally for leaving the designated press pen. Univision’s Jorge Ramos was ejected from a press conference after criticizing Trump’s plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. 
  •     In December, Trump referred to some reporters as “lying, disgusting people,” though he vowed he’d “never kill them.” Thanks?
  •     Trump has hurled personal insults at several media figures, including CNN’s S.E. Cupp and Ana Navarro, whom he called “two of the dumbest people in politics.” He also implied that Fox News’ Megyn Kelly had her period after she pressed him to answer questions during a debate.
  •     In February, he pledged to strengthen libel laws so that it would be easier for him to follow through on all the lawsuits he’s threatened. “When The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected,” he said.
  •     His relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin is also worrying, considering the Kremlin’s history of cracking down on independent journalism. The watchdog group Freedom House ranks Russian press as one of the least free in the world.

Original Article
Author: Alana Horowitz Satlin

No comments:

Post a Comment