It’s worse than that, too. Reporters Without Borders didn’t take into account the mainstream media’s voluntary self-censorship and refusal to report on the truth about Islam and jihad, its demonization and smearing of foes of jihad terror, and its cowardly capitulation to Islamic supremacist intimidation and thuggery, adopting what are essentially Sharia blasphemy laws for fear of offending Muslims or provoking a riot.
If the freedom of speech is ever fully extinguished in the United States, as it could be far more easily than most people think, the responsibility will lie to a tremendous degree with those who should have been its foremost guardians: the mainstream media.
Allen Drury’s bleak and dystopian 1973 Cold War novel Come Nineveh, Come Tyre envisioned a weak, wishful thinking-driven, fondly Leftist U.S. President, Ted Jason, as given to fantasy-based policymaking as the present incumbent, presiding over the bloodless surrender of the United States to the Soviet Union. The media adores President Jason, cheerleads for him energetically, defames and denigrates his foes relentlessly, and does everything it can to make him look good, right up until the point when a few of them realize that the freedom of speech is gone, and they have outlived their usefulness.
In one scene, the nation’s top TV news anchors, columnists, and newspaper publishers, having turned against the President and his program far too late, are arrested wholesale and committed to St. Elizabeth’s insane asylum in southwest Washington, “on complaint,” scream the headlines, “of Domestic Tranquility Board and Justice Department Special Branch.” The group of once-powerful media giants is herded past the asylum’s gate:
As it passed out of sight and the heavy gate began to close, one last anguished cry, so desperate and filled with pain that it would have moved the observer, had observer there been, came from the lips of [famed columnist] Walter Dobius.
“We did it!” he cried. “We did it! We d–”
But who he meant by “we,” and what it was that he thought “we” had done, was never to be divulged, for at that point he was summarily, and no doubt roughly, choked off. The gates clanged shut and no further sound escaped the walls of St. Elizabeth’s.
When the freedom of speech is finally gone in the United States, will Christiane Amanpour, or Bob Smietana, or Niraj Warikoo, or Kari Huus, or Alex Kane, or Max Blumenthal, or Michael Kruse, or Anne Barnard, or Scott Shane, or Mark Hicks, or any other of the nakedly biased “journalists” who have in recent years sided with Islamic supremacist enemies of free speech and abetted their defamation of foes of jihad terror and defenders of free speech, be lamenting, “We did it!” as the gate clangs shut on them? Or will they be eagerly jockeying for power among the new authoritarian elites? More likely the latter.
“Report: US Drops to 46th in Press Freedom,” by Taheshah Moise for Breitbart, February 12 (thanks to Anne Crockett):
According to Reporters Without Borders, America dropped 13 spots on the World Press Freedom Index 2014, designed to rank 180 countries in terms of the freedoms journalists enjoy and the regulations placed on them by government authorities.
The Index, published Feb. 11, shows that America now ranks number 46, below countries like South Africa and France. The Index has been published annually since 2002, but the 2014 ranking for America marks one of the most significant declines ever reported.
According to Christophe Deloire, the Reporters Without Borders Secretary General, the World Freedom Index is based on seven criteria: the level of abuses, the extent of pluralism, media independence, the environment and self-censorship, the legislative framework, transparency and infrastructure.
Investigative journalist James Risen believes the Index rightly shows the drop in American journalists’ freedoms due to crackdowns on reporters and whistleblowers and the efforts of the Obama administration and the National Security Agency to limit the amount of information America has concerning the “War on Terror” and other subjects.
“I think 2013 will go down in history as the worst year for press freedom in the United States modern history,” James Risen said.
Risen, who has reported for the New York Times since 1998, said he has personally felt some of the backlash of the guarded Obama administration and has seen some of his colleagues suffer repercussions as well.
Rather than pursue journalists, the Obama administration has focused on their sources—the two most scrutinized whistleblowers being Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.
“We have an administration that came in claiming that it was going to be the most transparent in history when in fact it is one of the most secretive in history, and certainly the most aggressive anti-press administration in modern American history,” Risen said….
EDITORS NOTE: The map featured in this column is courtesy of Reporters Without Borders.