Journalists in Russia face death for doing their jobs. They are beaten, jailed, and shot one after another. President Vladimir Putin likes to poison them, because it offers him “a veneer of plausible deniability” and “vicious theatricality.” His victims die “a horrific and often lengthy death,” according to The Foreign Policy. Now, Donald Trump has begun imitating his dictator buddy.
Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff tweeted a warning about POTUS’ attack on American journalists as he ignored the Constitution’s promise of a free press. Schiff alerted the public that journalists were being assaulted, tear-gassed, detained, and arrested. On American soil:’
‘Journalists are being assaulted, tear gassed (sic), detained, and arrested. On American soil. Black reporters are even more at risk. A free press is essential to any democracy, and reporters need to do their jobs safely. The press are not the enemy – unless you fear the truth.’
Then, Schiff pointed the nation to an even more startling fact, that black journalists have been “carrying unique burdens:”
‘”The terror of wearing both a press badge and black skin”: Black journalists are carrying unique burdens.’
Branden Hunter of The Detroit Free Press wore a gas mask to cover protests. Trump insulted Yamiche Alcindor of PBS NewsHour at a formal White House press briefing. Police arrested CNN’s Omar Jimenez in Minneapolis The Washington Post reported.
A former member of the CIA stationed in Moscow John Sipher said:
‘The Kremlin has a long, ugly history of intimidating and killing those who they see as a threat to the state. Journalists, opposition figures, vocal Russians abroad, and others always have to remain aware that the Kremlin doesn’t see them as free citizens.’
The Post reported what happened to Hunter:
‘A rifle-toting police officer walked up to a group of reporters covering a chaotic night of demonstrations. As they all yelled “press” and held up their credentials, he made a beeline to one in particular.’
A white fellow-journalist was panicked and shouted:
‘He’s with us!’
Hunter said that when he covered the rallies against police violence against black men and women and specifically, the killing George Floyd while in custody, the cops said to him:
‘You’re not media.’
MSNBC Correspondent and host of podcast Into America Trymaine Lee noted:
‘It feels like a weight because then you are tasked also with explaining and extrapolating on black pain for oftentimes a white audience…And you’re not fully sure anyone even truly understands. . . . And you still have to be objective, and you have to make sure that you’re being clear-eyed and honest and sober for the people, because the people also rely on us to tell the truth, to tell the story. And that’s a weight that I’m not sure if other journalists just carry.’
As he covered the Minneapolis protests, black CNN correspondent, Omar Jimenez, was arrested on live television. PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor asked:
‘Do most black folks have a choice in moments like that?” Is it safe to voice even justified concern when authority figures have decided you are a problem?’
Chicago’s CBS-2 Investigative Reporter Dorothy Tucker said:
‘[A] t the end of the day, I think we all go home and weep, and pray, and hope, and deal with the anger and disappointment The attack on press freedom is disheartening on its own — but imagine the terror of wearing both a press badge and black skin in this country at the same time.’
Former Washington Post reporter and current host of CBS’s digital 60 Minutes said when he was working for The Post, he was covering a fatal police shooting in Baton Rouge LA. Alton Sterling was dead at 37. In the middle of that, he saw the video of Philando Castile, 32, killed by police in Minnesota:
‘Lowery went to a bathroom and threw up. Then he returned to his desk to write a story.’
Twitter world went crazy after the press was attacked by Trump. Take a look at how they responded:
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.