The United States placed a thrilling 47th on the newly-released index of worldwide press freedom compiled by Reporters Without Borders, go team! This is 27 places worse than the previous year, owing to all the great fun cops across the nation had arresting, brutalizing and obstructing the work of journalists during the Occupy Wall Street protests. We were trying to type a bit of humor about some scandalously idiotic screaming exchange between Barack Obama and Arizona's dingbat teabagger governor Jan Brewer that's taking a dump all over our news feed, but then we just kept thinking to ourselves: Ha ha, maybe we will avoid this kind of thing just once, because this story -- a White House pool reporter excitedly detailing a brief, meaningless spat between enemy politicians only because it deviates slightly from the usual banal protocol and then twenty other news sites repeating the account almost verbatim like it matters -- is pretty much the exact kind of story that we fear being the only kind of story on our political news feed when we think about how much Michael Bloomberg wishes he could have shipped every journalist covering the police brutality against #OWS protesters to Guantanamo for a couple months/forever.

From Slate:

Last year, the United States came in 20th, sandwiched between the United Kingdom and Canada at 19th and 21st place, respectively. After 2011, however, the United States finds itself tied for 47th place with Romania and Argentina on the list, which is compiled by Reporters Without Borders, a not-for-profit advocating for press freedom around the globe.

"The crackdown on protest movements and the accompanying excesses took their toll on journalists," the group explains in the annual report. "In the space of two months in the United States, more than 25 were subjected to arrests and beatings at the hands of police who were quick to issue indictments for inappropriate behaviour, public nuisance or even lack of accreditation."

At least we still edged out Latvia, which came in at 48th. USA! USA! [Slate/RSF]


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