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Threats to a Free Press, Obama Has Charged More Whistleblowers Than All Other Presidents Combined

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James Foley, a photojournalist for GlobalPost and Agence France-Presse, was recently beheaded by a jihadist from the Islamic State. A disturbing video suggests that the perpetrators intend to target more journalists if their demands are not met.

Ferguson, Mo., Since the killing of teenager Michael Brown, Ferguson law enforcement have arrested or detained at least 10 journalists , and tried to silence many more.

Violence against the media has escalated, shooting tear gas canisters at reporters and dismantling cameras and lighting equipment. The Post’s Wesley Lowery was slammed into a soda machine and arrested after disregarding an illegal order to stop filming. “Don’t resist,” one cop threatened an Al Jazeera reporter. “I’ll bust your head right here.”

President Obama Aug, 18 remarks on Ferguson: “Our constitutional rights . . . to report in the press must be vigilantly safeguarded.”

>There is an indelible connection between what is happening in Ferguson and what is happening in Washington. In both places, and in cities all over the country, journalists — the very watchdogs of our freedom — are being intimidated and suppressed. This is a dangerous road to travel. Journalism is not a footnote to politics. It is not an addendum to history. A free press is the very lifeblood of democratic representation.

>John Nichols wrote, “When journalists are harassed, intimidated, threatened and detained, the basic premise of democracy — that the great mass of people, armed with information and perspective, and empowered to act upon it, will set right that which is made wrong by oligarchs — is assaulted.”

[SOURCE](http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-the-white-houses-threat-to-a-free-press/2014/08/25/fa1b5e9c-2ca5-11e4-9b98-848790384093_story.html?tid=rssfeed)

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“Threats to a Free Press, Obama Has Charged More Whistleblowers Than All Other Presidents Combined”