Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Media — Rick Moran @ 8:41 am

My latest article is up at FrontPage.com. In it, I examine the Obama administration’s commitment to freedom of the press around the world in the wake of the president signing the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act.

A sample:

There was an emotional ceremony at the White House on Monday when President Obama welcomed slain journalist Daniel Pearl’s surviving family members to witness the signing of the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act.

Pearl, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, was brutally murdered in Pakistan as he was following up some leads on al-Qaeda financing in early 2002. Four Pakistanis were convicted in Pearl’s murder in July of that year. The mastermind of the kidnapping and murder, however, may have been Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed to the murder under interrogation by the CIA.

According to the New York Times, the Freedom of the Press Act “requires the State Department to expand its scrutiny of news media restrictions and intimidation as part of its annual review of human rights in each country. Among other considerations, the department will be required to determine whether foreign governments participate in or condone violations of press freedom.”

This is certainly good news. According to Freedom House’s annual surveyof press freedom in 196 countries, the indicators fell for the 8th straight year…

That Freedom House survey is always fascinating. They use a broad range of criteria to determine it’s rankings based on a point system. The legal, political, and economic environment for the press in each country is given a numerical score of 0-40 in each. The totals reveal whether a country is “Free,” “Partly Free,” or “Not Free.” Only 69 countries are judged as having a “Free” press in their 2010 survey.

Some surprises to me in the “Partly Free” category include Italy and Greece. One would think that NATO countries would all have a freer press than most third world countries.

For Sean Penn - who wants to jail journalists who refer to Hugo Chavez as a “dictator” - left wing Freedom House pegs Hugo’s paradise as “Not Free” and ranks Venezuela 163 out of 196 countries.

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