One of the many joys we have as Americans is the First Amendment rights. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. Sometimes those rights get pushed to the limit when the press spreads “fake news,” but we all know how that’s been working lately. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a run-in last week with a reporter getting out of line. This week, he is calling for governments in Asia and Europe to let up on the restrictions placed on the press.
Pompeo rebuked any double standards as he was in Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Uzbekistan over the weekend and still on his tour to raise human rights issues along with the freedom of the press.
Even as he was pushing in favor of freedoms of the press overseas, he defended his actions over a National Public Radio interviewer who got out of line. Pompeo explained to the Eastern world, his defense was legit, and he does not have any ill feelings toward the freedom of the press.
Pompeo released a statement and stood by it as well as the NPR stands by their reporter. He said how it was “shameful” how the reporter “lied” to him. Pompeo went on to explain how it was “another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Donald Trump and his administration.”
Neither party budged as the media continued to make Pompeo out to be the bad guy. In the end, they just let it go as Pompeo moved on in his task while the NPR still cries over spilled milk. The NPR would not allow any reporters to travel with Pompeo on this trip. It’s a win, win, situation!
Other commentators are criticizing Pompeo for his defense and standing up to the “bullies.” No one currently in the administration condemns Pompeo for his responses. Still, the former diplomats and officials have plenty to say. They feel Pompeo has lost his credibility when it comes to the press.
On the contrary, he gained many praises over this current trip he is taking to promote freedom of the press. Monday, Pompeo was in Tashkent and praised the Uzbek government for “loosening restriction on the media.” He also stated, “The U.S. looks forward to further. progress in the area.”
Over the weekend, Pompeo told the people of Belarus, “The U.S. prioritizes respect for human rights, a strong civil society, and freedom of the press in every corner of the world.” He added that sanctions would be lifted after the country progresses on the issues he mentioned.
Sunday, Pompeo was interviewed by a radio host from Radio Azattyq in Kazakhstan. He was asked the question, “What kind of message the NPR incident sends to countries whose governments routinely suppress press freedom?”
Pompeo told the host journalist are allowed to ask any questions, and there is no more confrontation with the NPR interview. He responded, “In America, that’s the greatness of our nation: Reporters like yourself get to ask me any question and all questions. We talk openly. We express our view; they ask their questions. That’s how we proceed in America.”
Once again, he defended himself on the radio show. He stated those who are allowed to fly with him on his plane all must follow “certain sets of behaviors.” The main thing is they remain honest and report only the truth. He continued, “When they’ll do that, they get to participate, and if they don’t, it’s just not appropriate; frankly, it’s not fair to the rest of the journalists who are participating alongside of them.”
Pompeo concluded the interview by explaining if the journalist follows the proper procedures in an interview, everything can go smoothly. It works out great for both parties when the truth is told and biased, and lies are not involved.
He stated, “It’s a perfect message about press freedoms. They’re free to ask questions. It’s wide open in America. I love it. I hope the rest of the world will follow our press freedoms and the great things we do in the United States.”
As he was concluding the interview with that statement, he made a comment on how a third NPR reporter was with him Friday in Ukraine during a news conference.
The “fake news” has ruined a lot of peoples’ perceptions when it comes to the media. Once these groups get exposed, their prestige is degraded, and they get what they truly deserve in the end, low ratings!