DARE: A Failure of the Network News Star System
Network news in crisis as leading anchors are felled by sexual harassment and misconduct claims. Folksy radio host and author Garrison Keillor is fired by public radio over harassment claims. Furor mounts over Trump retweeting of incendiary anti-Muslim videos, as British right-wing fringe group that produced them crows with satisfaction. Press freedom groups file suit to force the government to disclose information about how and when it obtains journalists’ communications. Senate advances tax plan that would loosen constraints on political speech by churches and charities. Department of Justice seeks felony convictions for six arrested at Trump inauguration; case relies on video shot by an operative of the Veritas Project, the right-wing sting organization that—earlier in the week—was foiled in its plot to dupe the Washington Post. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director
The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today
A Failure of the Network News Star System
One by one, leading national news hosts have fallen to a range of allegations of sexual misconduct against them. For the news business, its main product is integrity, which, in the case of the networks, is personified by those who sit behind the desk. Once the audience’s trust is lost, the entire enterprise falls apart.
NEW YORK TIMES
Garrison Keillor fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of improper behavior
Garrison Keillor, the former host of A Prairie Home Companion, has been fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of “inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.” He acknowledges touching woman’s bare back but says story is “more complicated than the version MPR heard.”
Trump Shares Inflammatory Anti-Muslim Videos, and Britain’s Leader Condemns Them
President Trump shared incendiary anti-Muslim videos to his nearly 44 million followers. Although his tweets were condemned by Britain’s leader, they were welcomed by far-right activists in Britain and David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader in the United States.
NEW YORK TIMES
Has Trump Made It Easier to Spy on Journalists? Lawsuit Demands Answers.
Press freedom groups filed suit to force the government to disclose more about how and when it obtains journalists’ communications, amid reports that the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pursuing a record number of leak investigations.
House GOP’s Tax Plan Would Open Up Politics To Churches—And Charities
The proposed repeal of the tax law that prevents religious leaders from making political endorsements from the pulpit could also open up the electioneering floodgates for charities.
James O’Keefe’s Credibility Is On Trial As DOJ Seeks Felony Convictions For Trump Protesters
A video shot by Project Veritas, the right-wing sting organization that was foiled in its plot to dupe the Washington Post earlier this week, takes center stage in the ongoing felony prosecution of six individuals caught up in a mass arrest on Inauguration Day.
‘You Can Get Killed’: Journalists Living in Fear as States Crack Down
Independent journalists are under siege in a growing list of supposedly freer countries such as Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Kenya, Poland, Hungary and Cambodia.
Parents Made up Molestation and Drug Claims Against US-Listed RYB Education, Chinese Police Say
Beijing police say parents of two children at a kindergarten run by a US-listed company have admitted spreading unfounded rumors of children being drugged and sexually molested at the preschool. But commenters on social media raised doubts about the police report.
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
Russia, In ‘Absurd’ Move, Using ‘Draconian’ Law To Target Groups Over Hyperlinks
Russian individuals and groups are being persecuted for posting hyperlinks to websites of foreign organizations declared “undesirable” under legislation signed by President Vladimir Putin in 2015.
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY
Indonesian court rules in favor of religious freedom
Indonesia has long required all citizens to practice only state-recognized religions, and the blasphemy laws of the 1960s meant steep punishments for those who did not. However, a new court ruling is opening the door for legal practice of previously illegal faiths.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
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