Magazine article The Progressive

Journalists under Attack

Magazine article The Progressive

Journalists under Attack

Article excerpt

2017 was a frightful year for journalists in the United States, and no wonder: President Donald Trump has all but declared war on the press, which he denigrates as "the enemy of the American people." The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a website run by the Freedom of the Press Foundation with support from other groups, has documented dozens of attacks on journalists last year, including arrests and physical assaults. Here are some examples:

January 5: A television journalist in Cape Coral, Florida, is hit by a car driven by a man who accosted the film crew, yelling and swearing. She is not injured.

January 20: Independent photojournalist Alexei Wood is among nine journalists arrested while covering protests at Trump's Inauguration in Washington, D.C. He is charged with eight felonies, carrying up to seventy years in prison. In December, a jury found Wood and other defendants "not guilty" on all charges.

May 9: Radio journalist Dan Heyman is arrested and charged with "willful disruption of governmental processes," for shouting questions at then-U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price (later driven from office for misconduct). He is released on $5,000 bail after four hours; all charges are dropped.

May 24: Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, is grabbed by the neck and body-slammed by Greg Gianforte, a Republican Congressional candidate in Wyoming, for asking a question. Gianforte, now a member of Congress, is charged with misdemeanor assault, pleads guilty, and gets community service and anger management classes, with no jail time. …

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