President Trump declares his first 100 days a success in a campaign ad that labels any reports to the contrary as “fake news.’’ Denigrating the media was also the theme at a Pennsylvania rally he convened instead of attending the White House Correspondents Dinner. Those who did go to the annual tradition each received a “First Amendment” pin and heard Watergate investigative reporters Woodward and Bernstein urge journalists to follow not only the money but “also the lies.” And at Samantha Bee’s alternative Not the White House Correspondents Dinner, there was a serious shout-out to the work of local newspapers such as the one in Flint, Michigan, which revealed the extent of lead poisoning the water. Meanwhile, the president’s chief of staff says the White House has been looking into changes to libel laws that protect news reporting. And, today, PEN America’s week-long World Voices Festival of International Literature kicks off with United Against Hate, an opening night of readings and performances featuring Patti Smith, Marlon James, Salman Rushdie and more.
-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


Trump Touts First 100 Days Record, Slams the Press in Campaign-Style Rally
The president told a boisterous crowd of supporters that he was “thrilled” to be far away from Washington D.C. where members of the press were gathered for the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

The night Donald Trump failed to break the White House correspondents’ dinner
While Donald Trump was in Pennsylvania holding a campaign-style rally, Washington D.C. celebrated a night of journalism without him. The White House correspondents’ dinner gave each guest a “First Amendment” pin, while Samantha Bee’s “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” praised the work of local newspapers.
Washington Post

Reince Priebus says White House is looking into change to libel laws
A day after Watergate reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward issued a stirring call for the press to hold Donald Trump to account, the president’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said the White House is actively considering a change to libel laws affecting news reporting.

PEN America World Voices Festival begins this week
The PEN America World Voices Festival continues today with performances, readings, and workshops. The festival is host to more than 150 authors and artists from across the globe, examining bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia.

Trump’s Degradation of the Language
In Trump world, facts don’t matter, truth doesn’t matter, language doesn’t matter. Passionate performance is the only ideal. A lie forcefully told and often repeated is better than truth — it is accepted as an act of faith, which is better than a point of fact.


Turkey Purges 4,000 More Officials and Blocks Wikipedia
The Turkish government expanded its crackdown on dissent and free expression over the weekend, purging nearly 4,000 more public officials, blocking access to Wikipedia and banning television matchmaking shows.

Rare victory for persecuted journalist highlights Mexico’s press freedom crisis
Mexican journalist Pedro Canché finally won an apology for being jailed after he criticized a state governor. He took the opportunity to highlight Mexico’s ongoing crisis of press freedom and the unpunished murders of scores of journalists.

Members of Parliament say social media firms must face heavy fines over extremist content
Social media companies are putting profit before safety and should face fines of tens of millions of pounds for failing to remove extremist and hate crime material promptly from their websites, MPs have said.

Advocacy group demands Egypt free Al Jazeera journalist
A US-based advocacy group has filed a petition with the United Nations demanding the immediate release of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein as Egyptian authorities extended his detention for another 45 days.

Dubai Introduces Its Own Font, Lauding Free Expression It Does Not Permit
The new Dubai Font claims it wants people to express themselves. As it turns out, though, there are quite a few boundaries and limits on expression in Dubai and across the United Arab Emirates, where the news media is censored to remove criticism of the government or the coalition of royal families that controls it.

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