Why allowing governments to single out reporters sets a dangerous precedent

New York Times reporter Melissa Chan outlined in a Twitter thread how authoritarian governments strategically destroy the reputations of journalists they dislike.

  • CNN reporter Jim Acosta has frequently locked horns with President Donald Trump during press briefings.
  • On Wednesday, Acosta and Trump had a standoff that ended with the White House revoking the reporter's press badge.
  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued a tweet saying Acosta had placed his hands on an intern who tried to take the microphone away from him, a claim which many rebuked.

The White House revoked the press badge of CNN reporter Jim Acosta following a heated exchange with President Donald Trump during a press conference on Wednesday.

At the press conference, Acosta tried to ask the president multiple questions about the migrant caravan and the Russia probe. The president soon grew irritated with Acosta's line of questioning, and a White House intern approached the reporter to take away the microphone.

In a video of the event, Acosta's arm makes contact with the aide's arm as he refuses to cede the microphone.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders suggested in a tweet that Acosta had become aggressive during the standoff.

Later, Sanders tweeted a video of the encounter that highlights what she called "inappropriate behavior." However, the video appears to contain extra frames compared to the original C-SPAN recording, and she's since been criticized for spreading a video that was, seemingly, doctored to exaggerate the severity of the encounter.

Some journalists, even critics of CNN, came out in defense of Acosta following Sanders' suggestion that he became physical with the White House intern.

How governments tactically destroy reporters' reputations

Melissa Chan, a New York Times journalist who in 2012 was expelled from China after her reporting angered government officials, took to Twitter on Thursday morning to outline why she believes journalists should hang together, or else they'll "hang separately."

Chan cautioned that sitting by while an administration destroys the reputation of a particular journalist will set a dangerous precedent for reporters in the future.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
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Afghanistan is the most depressed country on earth

No, depression is not just a type of 'affluenza' – poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates

Image: Our World in Data / CC BY
Strange Maps
  • Often seen as typical of rich societies, depression is actually more prevalent in poor, conflict-ridden countries
  • More than one in five Afghans is clinically depressed – a sad world record
  • But are North Koreans really the world's 'fourth least depressed' people?
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Banned books: 10 of the most-challenged books in America

America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.

Nazis burn books on a huge bonfire of 'anti-German' literature in the Opernplatz, Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
  • Every year, the American Library Association puts on Banned Books Week to draw attention to this fact.
  • Some of the books they include on their list of most frequently challenged are some of the greatest, most beloved, and entertaining books there are.
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Videos
  • Oumuamua, a quarter-mile long asteroid tumbling through space, is Hawaiian for "scout", or "the first of many".
  • It was given this name because it came from another solar system.
  • Some claimed 'Oumuamua was an alien technology, but there's no actual evidence for that.