Green Room

Great news: US now 46th in Reporters Without Borders ranking of press freedom

posted at 11:38 am on February 12, 2014 by

Oddly, though, their two primary examples of the erosion of press freedom are … not journalists. Olivier Knox (freely) reports on the findings:

The U.S. plummeted 13 slots to 46th overall “amid increased efforts to track down whistle-blowers and the sources of leaks,” Reporters Without Borders warned in an annual report.

“The trial and conviction of Private Bradley Manning and the pursuit of NSA analyst Edward Snowden were warnings to all those thinking of assisting in the disclosure of sensitive information that would clearly be in the public interest,” the organization said.

The group, known by its French initials, RSF, also cited the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press telephone records and a court’s pressure on New York Times reporter James Risen to testify against a CIA staffer accused of leaking classified information.

“The whistle-blower is clearly the enemy in the U.S.,” Delphine Halgand, who heads the RSF outpost in Washington, told Yahoo News. “Eight whistle-blowers have been charged under the Obama administration, the highest number of any administration, of all other administrations combined.”

Well, I agree wholly with the point about the AP’s phone records, but RSF missed the point on Risen by a mile. Prosecutors and courts have pressured reporters for decades to cough up sources, but this administration is the first we’ve seen that argued for a snoop warrant based on the argument that a reporter might be part of an espionage ring. Manning and Snowden aren’t reporters, and they broke the law in an indiscriminate manner regarding classified material, especially Manning, to whom the term “whistleblower” hardly applies. Even his own defense relied on psychological issues rather than a central claim of whistleblower protection.

Note that RSF uses Manning’s birth name from his previous male identity. How long before outrage erupts over the insult to Chelsea?

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Progtard america is headed to north Korean levels of liberty and prosperity. look for ogabe to go full jong un in his last year.

Murphy9 on February 12, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Well, Obama HAS done something no other President in our history has ever done:

1. Blame the death of an ambassador on a filmmaker who did a parody of the religion he grew up in (islam) and throw that filmmaker in prison.

2. Selectively prosecute a filmmaker who made an unflattering movie about himself, in an ATTEMPT to put that filmmaker in prison.

Not even Nixon did stuff like this.

ConstantineXI on February 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Just wait until the first U.S. reporter gets a drone-delivered Hellfire missile up the butt… while in the U.S.

Of course, it won’t count if the reporter works for the Washington Examiner, or is named Drudge.

Marcola on February 12, 2014 at 12:39 PM

I forgot he was Chelsea now…

Publius_jr on February 12, 2014 at 1:10 PM

I used to have a girlfriend
Known as Elsie,
With whom I shared
Four sordid rooms in Chelsea
She wasn’t what you’d call
A blushing flower…
As a matter of fact
She rented by the hour.

The day she died the neighbors
Came to snicker:
“Well, that’s what comes
From too much pills and liquor.”
But when I saw her laid out like a Queen,
She was the happiest … corpse …
I’d ever seen.

No Truce With Kings on February 12, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Shocked, I am not.

EdmundBurke247 on February 12, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Even his own defense relied on psychological issues rather than a central claim of whistleblower protection.

And as we all know, we can certainly trust the government to enact whistleblower protections that protect the entire scope of whistleblowing activity, such that if an action is not covered by a whistleblower statute, it is not whistleblowing. Good inference there.

thirtyandseven on February 12, 2014 at 11:52 PM

Welcome to the totalitarian state…

zoyclem on February 13, 2014 at 6:43 AM