Asinine Report Labels U.S. One of the Most Dangerous Countries for Journalists
The media has uncritically promoted an annual study from a group called Reporters Without Borders, which hilariously names the United States as one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a journalist. There is no secret as to why they are running with this story. It’s the same exact reason why Time Magazine chose to make “The Guardians” their Person of the Year. Journalists in this country are really settling in to their self-styled role as martyrs of justice and truth, thanks exclusively to President Donald Trump and his supposed “attack on the free press.” And here we have a study that says America is the 5th most dangerous country in the world for reporters? Oh, pass the popcorn!
“Welcome to our Brave New World,” wrote CNN’s Brian Karem on Twitter. “Words have consequences – and calling us the enemy of the people and ‘fake news’ has led to this.”
That statement, ironically, is about as fake as news can get.
The truth, of course, is that Trump’s war on the media had absolutely nothing to do with Reporters Without Borders putting the U.S. on their list. The actual report itself is simply based on the fact that the U.S. had the fifth-most journalists killed while doing their job in 2018.
But any simpleton can look at the actual circumstances of those deaths and see that this is an extremely misleading statistic.
Only six journalists were killed this year in the manner described in the report. Four of them were reporters for Maryland’s Capital Gazette, and they were killed by a deranged psycho who had a vendetta against the paper after their coverage of his legal troubles. Two others were killed during a tropical storm in North Carolina. It may be factual to say that this ranks the U.S. as the country in which more journalists died on the job than most others, but to say it makes the U.S. one of the “most dangerous countries for journalists” is way off the mark.
Honest reporting, by the way, would not promote the story in that way. See how the circle is complete?
It is dishonest to say that this report shows that it is becoming more dangerous to be a reporter in America. But it is a flat-out lie to insinuate, in any way, that Trump is responsible for any of these deaths. Trump did not have one iota of influence over the killer in Maryland, and he certainly did not cause that tree to fall in North Carolina.
If journalists want a country in which the president does not call them out on fake news, the easiest thing would be to quit printing it.