Former Fox News primetime host Bill O’Reilly said that the management at Fox News all changed, and that’s the reason why Fox News is standing with CNN in the left-wing network’s plot to get showman Jim Acosta his permanent White House press pass back.
O’Reilly noted that he is not disparaging Fox News, but he made it very clear that the new management seeks approval from the fancy insiders on the East Coast Acela route, which Fox never would have done under previous management — meaning, presumably, the late Roger Ailes.
“The current management there wants to be part of the establishment media,” O’Reilly said. “That’s what it wants. Doesn’t want to be criticized by the New York Times and the Washington Post. Doesn’t want to be attacked by Media Matters. Doesn’t want that anymore. Wants to be part of the crew. Part of the gang. So what better way? The gang’s all behind Jim Acosta. So that’s what’s going on there, in my humble opinion.”
I discussed the Jim Acosta saga on a recent episode of Howley Reports:
One America News, Fox’s foremost rival for TV market share, seized on the opportunity to contrast with their competitor. Peter D’Abrosca reported:
One of the leading alternative news networks in America will file an amicus brief in support of the White House and President Donald J. Trump as they defend themselves against a lawsuit filed by fake news CNN.
“WE are going to file in the CNN vs White House court an Amicus Brief in favor of the White House. Acosta’s actions are stopping our people from getting their questions answered, so that we can give our audience the real news direct from our President,” said One America News’ CEO Robert Herring.
“Can’t believe Fox is on the other side, but they have direct communication to the President. We are lucky if we get a five minute interview once a quarter,” he continued.
OAN’s motivation could be to snag some of the market share from right-wing news competitor Fox, which surprisingly filed a brief in support of CNN in the lawsuit. Fox News president Jay Wallace accused the White House of “weaponizing” press passes in a statement of support for the CNN suit.
“Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential.” President of Fox said in a statement. “We intend to find an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for Working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”
The move angered many Fox viewers, with whom the network was already on thin ice.
CNN is taking the White House to court on the grounds of a First Amendment violation, which has been ridiculed as flatly absurd by many conservative attorneys.
“I just read CNN’s lawsuit against the administration over Jim Acosta. It’s a very weak case, but if they get before an Obama or Clinton district judge, who knows,” constitutional lawyer and conservative radio host Mark Levin said.
“Nonetheless, it is a ridiculous suit. CNN still has reporters at the White House and in the presidential press conferences; Acosta does not have a constitutional right to be physically present in the press room, anymore than the scores of media outlets that do not; Acosta can watch the press conference from outside the White House grounds as they are televised; the president cannot be compelled by any court to actually call on any particular reporter during a press conference,” he continued.
“Acosta does not have a constitutional right to disrupt the press conference with his various antics anymore than any other reporter; and, a president is not constitutionally compelled to hold a presidential press conference. The courts should stay out of this on separation of powers grounds, among other things. No one is preventing Acosta from reporting or CNN from broadcasting.”
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Turkey Human Rights, Crackdown on Press Freedom Comes Under Renewed Scrutiny in Geneva
Last week, the UK-based International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR)and the Press Emblem Campaign held an information meeting in Geneva, to coincide with the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Turkey over hate crimes, minority, and LGBT rights, and press freedoms with a specific focus on the nation’s crackdown on these rights during the failed 2016 coup and the emergency rule that followed during which the government allegedly used its security powers to arrest thousands of people who opposed it.
Turkey’s human rights record was last reviewed in 2015 during the UPR. This was the third time in 10 years that Turkey’s record has come under review
Diplomats, minister, prominent members of Turkish media and human rights defenders – including those who have been forced into exile – were present at the event. Also in attendance was former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice Ambassador Stephen Rapp. Louise Pyne Jones, head of research, International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR) moderated the event. Two panels were held. The first was called “Press Freedom” and included Yavuz Baydar, editor-in-chief of Ahval; Evin Baris Altintas, journalist and blogger; and Massimo Frigo; senior Legal Advisor for International Commission for Jurists (ICJ). The second panel, “Human Rights Defenders,” included Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci; president of the Human Rights Foundation in Turkey; Nurcan Baysal, award-winning Turkish Human Rights Defender and Journalist; and Anne van Wezel, former co-chair EESC EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee.
Following an attempted, and failed, “coup” against the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party in 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused many of his opponents and naysayers, including journalists who were critical of him and his government, of supporting terrorism and prosecuted many of them. Erdogan also suggested that the attempted coup was the work of exiled Imam Fethullah Gulen and his movement, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. Turkey has asked for the United States to extradite Gulen. Gulen has been living in the United States in a self-imposed exile since 1999. Over 250 people died as a result of the failed coup attempt.
Soon after the coup, Turkey implemented a state of emergency (SOE) which it said: “was put into effect in order to ensure the continuity of effective implementation of the measures for the protection of the rights and freedoms of our citizens, democracy and the rule of law.” However, the AK Party’s critics have maintained that the AK Party used the umbrella of its broader emergency powers and continuously postponed ending that state of emergency, in an attempt to destroy its political opposition.
Many journalists were apprehended under this state of emergency until it was lifted on July 19, 2018. As such, for three straight years, and up until 2019, the Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Turkey as the worst jailer of journalists in the world. According to Turkish, English, and Arabic-language news site Ahval, when China jailed 48 journalists to Turkey’s 47.
Nurcan Baysal, an award-winning Kurdish Human Rights Defender, Journalist, and contributor to Ahval, said she was even cautious with the words she used on the panel discussion for fear of punishment by the Turkish government. “We are censoring ourselves because of these fears,” Baysal said. “For example, before coming here I asked myself if I should use certain words, should I use the word invasion, or should I use the word war, because today in Turkey even to say war is forbidden,” she said. “Everything that I say has an effect on not only my life but of the lives of my children and family.”
Ahval editor in chief Yavuz Baydar said, “No state or power can decide who is a journalist, it is the domain for professional organizations and should always be separate from power.”
According to the IOHR, “In the previous UPR cycle of Turkey, the Turkish government officially supported 14 recommendations related to strengthening the legal framework on freedom of expression and 5 recommendations specifically related to bringing terrorism legislation in line with international human rights standards.
Hugh Williamson, the Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch recently said, “The huge number of journalists, politicians, and perceived government critics in prison and on trial flies in the face of the Turkish government’s public statements about the state of human rights in the country “Turkey’s disregard of human rights is a disservice to its citizens, who deserve to live with dignity and freedom.”
Meanwhile, Turkey’s state-run pro-government newspaper the Daily Sabah put out propaganda about the Erdogan government writing, “U.N. Human Rights Council highlighted Turkey’s achievements in the fields of judiciary, human rights and humanitarian causes on Tuesday during a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) meeting in Geneva.”
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