Jamal Khashoggi's memory hangs heavy over press freedom dinner

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. ...

Posted: Nov 21, 2018 6:17 PM
Updated: Nov 21, 2018 6:17 PM

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

US president or Saudi PR person?

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Freedom of press

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Human rights

International relations and national security

Jamal Khashoggi

Journalism and news media

Media industry

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Misc people

Political Figures - US

Politics

Saudi Arabia

US federal government

White House

Asia

Philippines

Southeast Asia

The headline on the Washington Post website right now: "For Trump, the bottom line on Saudi Arabia takes precedence over human rights." Anne Gearan says President Trump's declaration "that he won't hold Saudi rulers accountable for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi distilled the president's foreign policy approach to its transactional and personalized essence."

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker's reaction: "I never thought I'd see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia." Here's CNN's full story...

Ryan slams Trump's "surrender"

The Post's reaction is appropriately furious. Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan called it a "betrayal of long-established American values." Ryan said Trump "is correct in saying the world is a very dangerous place. His surrender to this state-ordered murder will only make it more so. An innocent man, brutally slain, deserves better, as does the cause of truth and justice and human rights."

Note that Trump's exclamatory statement didn't even mention Khashoggi's Post role. But it did include the Saudis' claim that the writer was an "enemy of the state" -- chilling language to see quoted in any US president's statement.

Karen Attiah's column

Karen Attiah was Khashoggi's editor at the Post. In this new column, she says "it is time for Congress to act and impose consequences for Saudi Arabia's dangerous behavior, from Yemen to its bloody repression of peaceful critics. For if we do not, Khashoggi's death will be a blood stain on America's moral conscience that neither time, nor Saudi hush money, will ever erase."

Inside the CPJ dinner...

The Khashoggi case was very much on the minds of the people at the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual press freedom awards dinner on Tuesday night.

Today we learned "our contracts and our money trump our principles," the evening's host, Bill Whitaker of CBS, said from the stage. He promoted the #JusticeForJamal hashtag.

There was an empty chair for Khashoggi at one of the tables. And his killing was brought up in the larger context of attacks around the world. I thought CPJ board chair Kathleen Carroll said it best: "The world is pretty scary right now... The forces of press repression seem to be getting louder and more powerful by the minute."

This year's honorees

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh of Vietnam, Luz Mely Reyes of Venezuela, Anastasiya Stanko of Ukraine, Amal Khalifa Idris Habbani of Sudan, and Maria Ressa of the Philippines were this year's honorees. Read about the five award recipients — all women journalists — on the CPJ website...

"Are we less free and less brave?"

In his introduction, Whitaker mentioned a bit of good news: CNN and Jim Acosta's recent court victory against the Trump administration — an effort that CPJ and scores of other organizations supported.

There was applause in the hall for Acosta. But, Whitaker said, "such victories are rare." And the examples he went on to share — about journalists being doxxed, trolled, assaulted, censored, imprisoned, and murdered — showed how precious America's system is. And showed the need to protect what we have. The need to be a model for the world.

Meher Tatna, the head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, raised concerns about journalists being chilled by anti-media attacks in the United States. She talked about her arrival as an immigrant and asked, "Are we less free and less brave? Are we still that same country that embraced me years ago?"

The time to fight is "NOW"

I was so inspired to see Maria Ressa accept the inaugural Gwen Ifill Award. Ressa is the founder and exec editor of Rappler, a pioneering news site that the Philippine government is trying to destroy. I spoke with her on last Sunday's "Reliable Sources."

Ressa is about to fly home to Manila to face nonsensical tax fraud charges. She is being threatened with jail time. She criticized both the government, for targeting her, and Facebook, for allowing so many lies and smears to spread. On stage, Ressa connected the dots between Trump and Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte. "You have a president so much like ours whose attacks against the press and women give permission to autocrats like ours to unleash the dark side of humanity," she said.

Then she made six points:

One: "The time to fight for journalism, for our constitution, The Philippines and yours, is NOW."

Two: "Don't stay quiet when you are attacked."

Three: "We need to continue reporting without fear or favor."

Four: "We need to build global alliances."

Five: "We need to hold tech platforms to account... They need to protect the public interest and the public sphere where democracy happens."

Six: Prospective investors need to recognize that newsrooms are businesses. "I'm being attacked not just as a journalist but as the founder of a company that successfully and legally raised money to make our dream a reality," Ressa said, urging the business community to speak up.

Read more of Tuesday's Reliable Sources newsletter... And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox...

Remembering the Capital Gazette shooting

Two survivors from the Capital Gazette shooting, reporters Selene San Felice and Rachael Pacella, were at the dinner. I've been keeping in touch with them through social media, but we had never met until now. They are remarkable reporters.

CPJ's Kerry Paterson reminded me that the United States, according to the group's data, is "the third deadliest country" for journalists in 2018 after Afghanistan and Syria.

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 87°
Florence
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 85°
Fayetteville
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 87°
Scottsboro
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 78°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 45263

Reported Deaths: 1007
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5410152
Montgomery4158103
Mobile4129134
Tuscaloosa232142
Marshall172410
Madison14917
Lee141137
Shelby133423
Morgan11215
Walker97824
Elmore94314
Franklin89814
Baldwin8949
Dallas8919
Etowah75013
DeKalb7375
Chambers64227
Butler63428
Autauga61012
Tallapoosa60569
Russell5650
Houston5074
Unassigned50323
Limestone5010
Lauderdale4966
Lowndes47221
Cullman4594
Pike4375
Colbert4086
St. Clair4022
Escambia3966
Coffee3812
Calhoun3765
Covington3707
Bullock36910
Barbour3532
Talladega3177
Hale31421
Marengo31211
Dale2990
Wilcox2948
Sumter28512
Jackson2842
Clarke2776
Winston2633
Chilton2522
Blount2431
Monroe2392
Pickens2366
Marion23313
Conecuh2107
Randolph2099
Macon1999
Choctaw19512
Bibb1941
Greene1868
Perry1791
Henry1363
Crenshaw1253
Washington1117
Lawrence1100
Cherokee1027
Geneva830
Lamar781
Fayette711
Clay692
Coosa591
Cleburne381
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 52039

Reported Deaths: 652
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby11936201
Davidson11205121
Rutherford304035
Hamilton280435
Sumner163652
Trousdale14985
Williamson134015
Knox12098
Out of TN11987
Wilson96317
Putnam9067
Robertson83911
Sevier8303
Bradley7454
Lake6940
Tipton6495
Unassigned6351
Bledsoe6211
Bedford5705
Montgomery5677
Macon4874
Maury3573
Hardeman3524
Hamblen3434
Fayette3232
Madison3052
Loudon2881
Rhea2850
Dyer2543
McMinn23918
Cheatham2321
Blount2293
Dickson2120
Cumberland1834
Washington1740
Lawrence1646
Lauderdale1513
Anderson1442
Monroe1416
Jefferson1372
Gibson1291
Smith1221
Sullivan1212
Coffee1200
Greene1142
Obion1132
Hardin1097
Cocke940
Haywood932
Marshall921
Franklin883
Wayne880
Hickman800
Warren780
McNairy760
Marion744
White733
DeKalb680
Carter651
Lincoln650
Weakley641
Overton631
Giles621
Hawkins622
Roane620
Grundy611
Unicoi550
Campbell511
Carroll481
Claiborne480
Henderson480
Polk460
Henry450
Johnson440
Grainger410
Sequatchie410
Crockett403
Cannon370
Chester350
Perry340
Meigs320
Humphreys292
Jackson290
Morgan271
Fentress230
Stewart230
Decatur220
Union190
Clay180
Scott170
Houston150
Benton131
Moore130
Van Buren70
Hancock60
Lewis60
Pickett60

 

 

Community Events