President Trump laces Black History Month remarks with denigration of the media (alongside noticing that Frederick Douglass has “done an amazing job”). Anonymous intellectual-for-Trump Publius Decius Mus is unmasked as Michael Anton, now creating a White House ideology as a senior national security official. At Berkeley, a speech by the far right’s Milo Yiannopoulos is canceled after protesters set fires and pelt buildings, and the president tweets a threat to deny the university federal funds. A leaked draft of an executive order titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom” looks to legalize discrimination. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


Berkeley Cancels Milo Yiannopoulos Speech Following Protests
A speech by the divisive right-wing editor Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, was canceled on Wednesday night after demonstrators set fires and threw objects at buildings to protest his appearance.

Trump threatens funding cut if UC Berkeley ‘does not allow free speech’
President Trump early Thursday threatened to cut federal funding to the University of California, Berkley after violent protests broke out on its campus Wednesday in response to a planned appearance by a far-right commentator.

Journalist says he was wrongly detained under Trump order
A CNN editor and producer from Iraq was wrongly detained at Atlanta’s airport because of the President Donald Trump’s ban on entry for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination
If signed, the order would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity.

Iranian Director Asghar Farhadi Won’t Attend Oscar Ceremony
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose film “The Salesman” is nominated for an Academy Award, has said that he would not attend the ceremony next month even if he were granted an exception to President Trump’s visa ban for citizens from Iran and several other predominantly Muslim countries.


French journalist thrown out of Marine Le Pen press conference
A French broadcast journalist has complained of being violently thrown out of a press conference after he tried to question the far-right Front National presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen.

Tweaks Ordered For Thai Media Bill, But Oversight Council to Stay
The bill, which has won the opposition of just about every journalist organization, was sent back to its drafters by the National Reform Steering Assembly for changes to details that do not concern the establishment of a national council to regulate—and enable possible censorship of—the media.

German Chancellor Merkel presses Turkey’s Erdogan to ensure freedom of the press
Erdogan’s critics have accused the Turkish President of cracking down on free speech. The two leaders also discussed overlapping geopolitical interests.

We must not turn our backs on journalists who lack our freedom
Let us not forget that too many reporters, photographers and bloggers around the world lose their liberty, and their lives, simply for trying to do their job.

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