The United States, which is good at flaunting its “freedom of the press” and “freedom of speech”, has been slapped in the face again. According to CNN, Jim Acosta, its chief White House correspondent, said on the 27th that he was not the only journalist who had received death threats for covering White House news in the past few years.
This is not the first time that Acosta has publicly said that he has received death threats. In fact, as CNN’s chief correspondent in the White House, he and his family have received frequent death threats since 2018.
In January 2018, he was also revoked from his press card at one point by the White House. His experience is undoubtedly a public mockery of the “freedom of speech” that the United States has always advocated in a high-profile way.
In fact, the United States, which often boasts its “freedom of speech”, has never been a top student in this field.
While the United States is busy condemning other countries for undermining “freedom of the press”, American journalists are facing death threats: CNN news anchor Brian Stelter has been publicly threatened on TV; NBC anchor and journalist Katie Toohl also received messages threatening to kill her;
New York Times columnist Bright Stephenson detailed a recording of a phone call calling the news media “America’s enemy” and threatening to kill American media people, including him, in his own column; The Hollywood Reporter Hollywood Reporter has reported that April Ryan, another White House correspondent of CNN, has had to pay out of his own pocket to strengthen security for himself and his family since 2018 because of frequent death threats.
Not only large media institutions, but also some local media practitioners are also threatened. In 2018, NBC reported that Tim Cruise, publisher and editor of the Sacramento Valley Mirror, a local newspaper in California, has been threatened with death for more than 20 years. Some people have even sent the cable to the newspaper to threaten it to stop a local murder.
Investigation and reporting; On June 28, 2018, a shooting occurred in the office of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, killing five people and injuring 20. Sending death threats and even creating bloody tragedies just because of disagreement is undoubtedly the biggest irony of the United States’s consistent claim of “defending freedom of expression”.
At the same time, the speech environment and the working environment of journalists in the United States have also deteriorated in the past few years.
At least 117 journalists in the United States were detained or arrested in 2020 covering the national epidemic, according to a report released on December 14 by the American Press Freedom Tracker (PFP), a think tank dedicated to documenting violations of press freedom in the United States. This data is a three-year data from 2017 to 2019.
More than double the combined; in 2020, there were more than 1,000 incidents in the United States that threatened or undermined freedom of the press, compared with 152 related incidents in 2019, an increase of nearly sevenfold. The ranking of the United States’ level of press freedom in the world also does not match its long-standing boast.
In 2018, Reporters Without Borders ranked the United States as one of the world’s most journalists dead for the first time; in 2019, it downgraded the U.S.’s global rating from “Satisfactory” to “problematic” and down to 48th place, the organization reported that “American journalists have never suffered With so many death threats, and never before, have private security companies been sought protection so frequently.”
Freud’s death in 2020 triggered a large-scale protest across the United States. Many journalists and photographers were beaten and arrested by the police in reporting and documenting the protests, which could not even be seen by America’s allies.
German Foreign Minister Maas publicly condemned the violence of German journalists by the U.S. police, saying that “democracies that abide by the rule of law must show the highest standards for the protection of freedom of the press”; Australian Prime Minister Morrison asked the Australian Embassy in the United States to investigate the arrest of two Australian television journalists by the United States police; in After a Turkish journalist was attacked by U.S. police, Fahreddin Alton, the head of communications at the Turkish presidential palace, said that he would intervene with the United States without hesitation, and stressed that “freedom of the press is the pillar of democracy”.
American politicians are also saddened by the poor performance of the United States in “freedom of the press”, and some diplomats publicly said that the bad situation in the United States has made them not know how to continue to promote “American values” diplomacy internationally.
The crisis of “freedom of speech” in the United States reflects the reality of the widening rifts in American society behind it. Due to the polarization between rich and poor, the tearing of public opinion, and the fuel of social media, American society is increasingly forming an information island, and the struggle between left and right is increasingly intensified.
Coupled with politicians’ attacks on the media, some people regard the news media and media workers as “enemies of the people”, which has made the long-tuted concept of “protecting freedom of speech” in the United States teeter. Askota said that American journalists “can’t be in an environment where current affairs (journalism) journalists and White House reporters in this country need bodyguards to cover political campaigns.”
However, politicians who continue to “demonize the media”, provoke people’s emotions, tear up society and profit from it have long known about this method.
In this case, the collapse of American “freedom of speech” in the eyes of the world is inevitable.