The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) made waves Tuesday in naming President Trump the world’s worst oppressor of press freedoms. Not only did this make a mockery of the organization, it also undermined the noble cause that it claims to stand for.
In response to Trump’s #FakeNews awards, CPJ announces #PressOppressors awards #TheFakies https://t.co/BGL3oaBrSq— Committee to Protect Journalists (@Committee to Protect Journalists) 1515448944.0
In pushing back against President Trump’s coming “fake news awards,” the group awarded him the “Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom.”
It goes without saying that it’s completely absurd to label the president as the chief force for undermining press freedoms. As many have already pointed out, there are plenty of nations that engage in absolute censorship and suppression and even, sometimes, in cold-blooded murder of journalists (see: Russia, Iran, China, Turkey, etc).
With such a bizarre and morally repugnant label attached to the Republican president, it may not come as a surprise to find out that the non-profit journalism advocacy group has an extreme political bias toward the Left.
Take a look at how the group’s longtime executive director, Joel Simon, covers the Trump administration compared to the Obama administration. Also, let’s not forget that it was President Obama who intimidated journalists and used the Espionage Act to target reporters' sources more than any other administration.
Now, let’s take a look at Joel Simon’s social media.
As you can see below, when he’s discussing President Trump, Simon is consistently on the attack.
Watch @SmythFrank explain why Trump's attack on @cnni emboldens dictators and put independent journalists at risk. https://t.co/KNwvQRe2d8— Joel Simon (@Joel Simon) 1511843616.0
Trump's attack on @cnni undermine ability of journalists around the world to work safely and independently, via… https://t.co/EqR2B7YUDo— Joel Simon (@Joel Simon) 1511825798.0
Many thanks @Sulliview for pointing out the global impact of Trump's anti-press rhetoric. https://t.co/YJxq2EvTIP— Joel Simon (@Joel Simon) 1508108801.0
I spoke to @NPRMichel @npratc about the damage Trump's anti-media tirades are doing to #pressfreedom worldwide. https://t.co/uED5zjNyhP— Joel Simon (@Joel Simon) 1499034814.0
Outrageous and unprecedented that Trump sought to jail journalists. Trump is putting our democratic institutions to the test.— Joel Simon (@Joel Simon) 1494981412.0
These are just a few examples of Simon’s nonstop attacks on the president.
Now, check out how he covered the Obama administration. Here, Simon positions himself as an ideas man who is happy to give encouragement and advice to the former president. Even though Obama was far more aggressive in using legal measures to attack the press, Simon takes a far less hostile tone.
Obama looks to pressure Trump on the media https://t.co/KfW7ikFhR1— Joel Simon (@Joel Simon) 1484762381.0
What can #Obama do to fight #TheNewCensorship? Here are my 7 suggestions. http://t.co/cYOMui1zuU— Joel Simon (@Joel Simon) 1416435154.0
Encouraging RT @MichaelOreskes: White House, news groups discuss access to Obama (from @AP) http://t.co/YiYQQuq7v4— Joel Simon (@Joel Simon) 1387337431.0
.#Obama should engage in #media diplomacy in #Iran. My piece for @ForeignPolicy. http://t.co/JyO17tfDxZ— Joel Simon (@Joel Simon) 1380156502.0
It should also come as no surprise that CPJ’s funders are a who’s who of leftist political donors. Prominent supporters include George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and several anti-Trump legacy media publications, such as CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.
Paradoxically, the group also receives the support of Al Jazeera and maintains an Al Jazeera host, Mhamed Krichen, on its board of directors. Including Al Jazeera in its mission is hypocritical under CPJ’s cause, given the fact that Al Jazeera is a state-run enterprise out of Qatar.
In a world where journalists are continually harassed, intimidated, and even killed, the Committee to Protect Journalists can play a major role in raising awareness about the actual places where journalists face persecution. Instead, its leadership seems more interested in taking cheap shots at the president while, at the same time, undermining its important mission.