News

November 5, 2018

US — #WeeklyAddress: October 29 - November 4: Suspicious package sent to CNN’s Atlanta office intercepted

NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP
Below are the most notable incidents regarding threats to press freedom in the US during the week of October 29 - November 4:

Suspicious package sent to CNN’s Atlanta office intercepted

Law enforcement intercepted a third suspicious package addressed to CNN’s Atlanta headquarters on October 29. According to the FBI, the package resembled the 14 pipe bombs that Cesar Sayoc is suspected to have sent to the news outlet and other prominent critics of President Donald Trump last week. This is the third package CNN has received since October 24, which authorities suspect was also sent by Sayoc. The first two were addressed to the network’s office in the Time Warner Center in New York. President of CNN Worldwide Jeff Zucker issued a memo on October 29 reassuring the public that the package had been “intercepted at an Atlanta post office” and that there was “no imminent danger to the CNN Center.”

 

  

President Trump says reporters are “creating violence by not writing the truth”

Outside the White House on November 2, ABC reporter Karen Travers asked President Trump about his role in encouraging politically-motivated violence, to which he told her that “reporters are creating violence by not writing the truth.” In a video, Travers mentioned a recent ABC-Washington Post poll that says 49 percent of registered voters believe he has encouraged violence through his political rhetoric. President Trump pointed his finger at the reporter and said, “You’re creating violence by your questions. You know what. You are creating—you,” before blaming other reporters and the “fake news” for the violence as well. These statements echo President Trump’s criticisms of the media last week for failing to “to set a civil tone” and for unfairly criticizing him “at will.”

 

 

Crowds heckle the press before and during Trump rally in Florida

Crowds attending a Trump rally in Estero, Florida, on October 31 heckled journalists and mimicked the president’s anti-media rhetoric. Reporter Sabrina Siddiqui tweeted that day that “ahead of Trump’s rally at Hertz Arena in Estero, Florida, the crowd has broken into chants of ‘CNN sucks.’” Some rally-goers also approached the press area while waiting for the rally to begin, yelling obscenities at journalists in attendance. One man who wore a t-shirt that read, “f--- the media” told The Daily Beast he wore it in the hope of sending a message to CNN journalist and White House Correspondent Jim Acosta and the rest of the press. During his speech, President Trump criticized the “far-left media,” to which rally-goers responded by leaning in toward the press area and yelling, “Tell the truth” and “fake news,” among other expressions. In late July, Acosta and other journalists reported on an unusually vitriolic and hostile climate at a Tampa rally, where journalists were heckled and given the middle finger by rally-goers.

 

  

Chanters awaiting Desantis and Rubio spit in direction of CNN camera

While waiting for gubernatorial nominee Ron Desantis and Senator Marco Rubio to arrive at a community outreach event in Miami on November 1, those gathered to greet them chanted “CNN sucks” before spitting in the direction of a CNN camera. Daily Beast reporter Andrew Desiderio tweeted a video of the incident, noting the chanters referred to the network as the “Castro News Network.”

 

The United States ranks 45th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index after falling 2 places in the last year.

 

 

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