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I stand with NPR (and the free press)

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attacked NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly and impugned her for doing her job, he stepped way over a line that Secretaries of State should never get near. She had the shocking temerity to ask him questions about Ukraine that he didn't want to answer after giving his staff advance warning she might ask him questions about Ukraine.

That's a good journalist's job.

At a time when dictators and strongmen around the world are imprisoning and killing journalists and using cries of "fake news" to justify it, U.S. foreign policy needs to include a robust defense of freedom of the press. Instead our top diplomat is encouraging the demonization of inconvenient media because he was asked some hard questions. He's even barred NPR from flying with the U.S. delegation on an upcoming trip overseas.

As an elected official, I've had my disagreements with members of the press from time to time. But it is the very freedom of the press that stands as a bulwark against fascism and tyranny.

Secretary Pompeo needs to understand that his role is to defend American values around the world, and that includes protecting the freedom of journalists to ask difficult questions of those who are given the high responsibility of governing this country.

Please join me and tell Mike Pompeo: American freedom depends on a free press.


Posted on January 28, 2020.

Born in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, Jeff Merkley has never lost touch with his working class roots.

As a U.S. Senator, he works every day to create opportunity for working families, stop the corruption of our democracy, and tackle the climate crisis.

A workhorse and a progressive champion, Jeff Merkley is leading a movement to get our country back on track.

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