Trump gave a measured, scripted address to a joint session of Congress, delighting his supporters and unnerving his critics. Earlier, while in a meeting with a state attorney general, Trump suggested the vandalism at Jewish cemeteries and bomb threats might be part of a coordinated effort to make him look bad. During his speech, the President forcefully called out hate crimes. Meanwhile, exclusion of news outlets from White House briefing may be unconstitutional, experts say.
-Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

PEN America’s take on today’s most pressing threats to free expression


How the US press reacted to Trump’s Congress speech
Trump’s first presidential address to Congress was viewed as more upbeat than the inauguration speech. But for some, little of what he said was new. Here are some sample reactions from US press about the speech.

The White House’s Politico slime job, from start to finish
After Politico reporter Alex Isenstadt reported on White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s treatment of his underlings in the White House communications office, a fake story was run in the Washington Examiner slandering him.

Judge says blogger’s ‘tyrant registry’ is protected speech
A federal court ruled the ‘tyrant registry’ published by an anonymous blogger that listed the addresses and phone numbers of 40 California lawmakers who support a new gun control law in the state was protected speech.

Barring Reporters From Briefings: Does It Cross a Legal Line?
A ruling issued by a federal judge in Manhattan saying that the New York Police Department may have violated the First Amendment by revoking the press credentials of a journalist may serve as a cautionary tale to the White House.

Forget Trump’s tweets and media bans. The real issue is his threat to the internet
Trump’s appointment to chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, has stated that he opposes net neutrality, the principle whereby service providers treat all data the same. This presents a real threat to journalism and freedom of speech in America.


Russian Investigators Search Leading Journalist’s Apartment
Zoya Svetova, a prominent opposition journalist, wrote on her blog that investigators deceived her by saying they came to give her a summons and then elbowed their way into her Moscow apartment.

‘Assault on freedom of expression’: Die Welt journalist’s arrest in Turkey condemned
Opposition officials and human rights groups have condemned the arrest in Turkey of a German newspaper correspondent as an “assault on freedom of expression” and attempt at intimidating foreign press in the country.

Bangladesh Criticized for Slow Progress in Blogger Murders
As Bangladesh probes of the murders of about a dozen secular bloggers, writers, and a publisher, killed between 2013 and 2015 are making no public progress, fears of threats from the Islamists has halted the publication of books critical of religions.

Blogger, nabbed for making seditious remarks, remanded 3 more days for another case
A 64-year-old Malaysian blogger, who was previously held by police over a seditious remark he made on Facebook, was once again slapped with a three-day remand order for a separate case.

Academics warn against conflating all criticism against Israel as anti-Semitism
Free speech on Israel is being suppressed by individuals and groups who deliberately seek to conflate criticism of the country with anti-Semitism, hundreds of academics have claimed.

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