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Journalist Mariusz Kowalewski noticed something was amiss when his editors came to him with a new assignment: follow an outspoken critic of Poland's ruling party with a drone.
"The idea was to send this drone over to his house in order for him to notice it and to feel threatened, like he was being watched," Kowalewski recalls. "This was an intimidation method straight out of communism."
The order came from his editors at TVP, Poland's largest broadcaster, which oversees a vast network of public television and radio stations.
Kowalewski says he sabotaged the plan by giving the drone operator an outdated address, but he says the episode taught him public television is no longer serving the public. Instead, he says, it's serving Poland's governing right-wing populist party, Law and Justice. "Instead of information, viewers now get blunt propaganda that is meant to assure them that Law and Justice is the best party to rule this country," he says.
Social media giant Facebook said earlier this week that it will remove all content containing the phrase "stop the steal" in order to cut down on "content that could incite further violence," but online crackdowns can make law enforcement's job more difficult when it comes to tracking down threats.
New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counterterrorism John J. Miller described the challenges of the changing digital landscape during a conference call on Thursday.
"The good news is, we’ve got large groups of adherents to violent extremism flocking to one place," Miller said. "A lot of that energy is diverted when you shut down that platform. On the other hand, it pushes them to other locations, so, you know, we’re going to have, we’re going to have to follow those threats wherever they go, which is a challenge in and of itself."
Simmering tensions between journalists and managers at Voice of America grew into open rebellion Thursday, with more than two dozen newsroom employees signing a petition demanding the immediate resignation of their new director and his top deputy.
VOA staff said Robert Reilly and Elizabeth Robbins had abdicated their responsibility to remain independent of government influence by ordering the global broadcaster to air a speech that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered at its Washington headquarters Monday — a “propaganda event,” the staffers called it.
CNN anchor Don Lemon said Wednesday night on his show that Americans who voted for President Donald Trump were on the side of “the Klan” and “Nazis.”
Lemon said, “We’ve got to get down to the nitty-gritty of what this is. And it is about what I said, and I standby it, preserving whiteness in the worst possible way. If you find yourself, Chris, in a crowd and the person next to you is carrying a Confederate battle flag or the person next to you has on a neo-Nazi symbol of some type or has on a ‘Camp Auschwitz’ then in your mind wouldn’t you say my goodness, I have made the wrong decision I need to get out of here?”
Fellow network anchor Chris Cuomo said, “Now what you hear is, ‘Well, you can’t say that everybody who voted for Trump is like the people who went into the Capitol. Response?”
Lemon said, “If you are on that side, you need to think about the side you are on. I am never on the side of the Klan. Principled people, conservative or liberal, never on the Klan’s side. Principled people, conservative or liberal, never on the Nazi’s side. Principled people, conservative or liberal, never on the side that treats their fellow Americans as less than, that says that your fellow Americans should not exist. That says your fellow Americans should be in a concentration camp, or sides with slavery, or sides with any sort of bigotry.”
Cuomo said, “Right, and what if they say, ‘I don’t agree with those people, I just like Trump’s policies?’
Lemon said, “Well, then get out of the crowd with them. Get out of the crowd with them.:”