Journalists have gotten quite the shellacking from politicians lately.
No one is guiltier of this than Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to Reporters Without Borders.
The non-profit organization has a global presence as a staunch advocate of freedom of information and freedom of press.
“In a democracy, politicians and presidential candidates should not dictate what is or is not good reporting,” said Reporters Without Borders director, Delphine Halgand. “Donald Trump has brought his grudge-match with the media to an extremely dangerous level for freedom of the press.”
In an article on Friday, Reporters Without Borders detailed the many times Trump has bullied and bashed the media.
Most recently, Trump refused to participate in Thursday night’s Fox News debate, hosting his own veterans event instead.
Trump opted out of the event because it was moderated by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who he has accused of being biased and dishonest.
Trump has also called Kelly a “third-rate” reporter and has repeatedly attacked her on social media.
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Reporters Without Borders noted that Trump’s antagonistic treatment of the media didn’t end with Kelly.
He’s had myriad run-ins with Fox News and Politico and has restricted the access of New York Times and Univision reporters. In August, a security officer even physically ejected Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from a Trump press conference.
The article also pointed out that The Des Moines Register, The Huffington Post, and BuzzFeed have all had their press credentials revoked.
“At rallies, candidates have often restricted reporters to a designated press area called a press pen, a common practice sometimes enforced by the Secret Service, making it difficult for journalists to even talk to rally attendees. But Trump took it one step further by forcing reporters to take an escort to the bathroom,” Reporters Without Borders writes.
Trump’s campaign said it was unaware of the article and would look into the assessment.
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The article also took issue with the way Hillary Clinton’s campaign has treated the media.
She has refused press pool access and has failed to give adequate “sourcing for basic information.”
The one bright point in the assessment of Clinton was that the media hadn’t had issues with her in the past six months.
Reporters Without Borders also had a critical evaluation of the current White House. The article criticized the Obama administration’s “lack of transparency and predatory acts.”
All of these restrictive actions toward the media have resulted in the U.S. dropping by 14 points on the Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index. Out of the 180 countries that are assessed, the U.S. is now ranked 49.