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October 24, 2006

The Not So Free Press

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

According to a recent article, the US now ranks 53rd among all countries in freedom of the press. That’s a big slide from the #17 position we held in 2002.

Speaking of 2002, that’s the same year that we arrested and sent an Al-Jazeera photographer (Sami al-Haj) to prison without charging him of a crime. He’s still sitting in guantanmo.. I’m not sure if he’s been officially charged but he surely hasn’t seen a judge yet.

From the article:

Relations between the media and the Bush administration sharply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of “national security” to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his “war on terrorism.” The zeal of federal courts which, unlike those in 33 US states, refuse to recognise the media’s right not to reveal its sources, even threatens journalists whose investigations have no connection at all with terrorism.

So how else does one measure freedom of the press? Well there’s Josh Wolf who was jailed in August for refusing to hand over a video he shot to the government.

There’s also Nicholas D. Kristof who was jailed for refusing to reveal his sources for an article.

Does this sound like the land of the free to you? Sure, we’re not completely controling the news like Kim Jong Il does, nor are we torturing those critical of our fearless leader ala Turkmenistan but our press freedoms are worse than many african nations.

When’s the last time we’ve compared ourself to 3rd world countries and they’ve won? We Americans need to realize that the “war on terror” is really an attack on our freedoms, but unfortunately we won’t be getting that information from our local newspapers.

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