05 November 2007

US drops to 53rd rank on press freedom

I imagine the same folks who smugly don't care that U.S. access to health care is ranked just above Slovenia, i.e. about 40th in the world, aren't troubled by this either:

"...the U.S. has tumbled progressively downward in the worldwide press freedom rankings maintained by the widely respected journalist group, Reporters Without Borders. While oppressive countries such as North Korea, Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia and Iran occupy their rightful place at the bottom of the list, the U.S. -- historically at or near the top -- has fallen drastically over the last several years to 53rd place. The U.S. is thus now tied with Botswana and Tonga and well behind El Salvador, Mozambique, Panama, Namibia, Jamaica, Israel and Lithuania. Its practice of arresting journalists [in Iraq] and holding them for years with no charges is obviously a significant factor."
(From Greenwald on salon.com).

You could make an argument that our founders invented press freedom. But if you don't get that this is a shameful --and frightening-- state to have fallen to, you just aren't paying attention. Because, if you don't think it affects you, you are wrong. Already the lack of access to truthful information has poisoned our political system. And it can only get worse without a concerted effort... i.e., political action... to correct these positively unAmerican developments.

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