If You Want to Support Press Freedom, Start At Home

Things in China got off to a rough start:

President Barack Obama downplayed dust-ups involving the U.S. delegation and Chinese security officials during the opening hours of his trip to Hangzhou for the G-20 summit, but said Sunday the U.S. would not apologize for its efforts to expand media access in the country.

“We don’t leave our values and ideals behind when we take these trips,” Obama said after a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, when asked about the incidents. “It can cause some friction. It’s not the first time it’s happened.”

I find it highly duplicitous that the President, whose administration is paranoid about leaks, and who has used social media aggressively to bypass his own media, should be lecturing the Chinese on this subject.  I’m not saying that the Chinese are paragons of virtue on press freedom.  But Americans–especially the neocons–spend a lot of time wondering how we’re going to respond to the “Chinese threat.”  The best way to do that is for us to get our own house in order, and be a strong, free country, and not just a toy of our elites with a large military budget.  That’s what bothers me about Hillary Clinton: she combines a neocon’s instincts for intervention with liberal’s dislike of a strong military and economy, and the result of a major “pushback” on her part would probably be a disaster.

It’s also amazing that our own media, sycophantic as they are, should be held up an example of a functioning free press.  Barack Obama has had as favourable a media as one could want, and yet he still bypasses it every chance he gets.  And they’re selective, too.  An example, Christians: last week, when a would-be jihadi tried to blow himself and a church up in Sumatra, guess where this first surfaced on my Twitter account?  CCTV!  And I have a few news sources there.  Our own media could care less if jihadis blow up churches, they’re scared that publicising it it would encourage “Islamophobia.”

Media note: I’d urge my readers to keep in front of them a variety of media, domestic and foreign.   I’ve enjoyed picking up CCTV and other Chinese outlets; it’s been informative.

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