Hate­mon­gers Put Jour­nal­ists at Risk A

Variety - - Field Notes - Clau­dia Eller Co-edi­tor-in-chief

s so many of us mourn the mur­der of Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist Ja­mal Khashoggi, I keep think­ing how he was among that spe­cial breed of jour­nal­ists coura­geous enough to speak out at any cost against in­jus­tice — in­clud­ing the con­stant threat of death. It was Khashoggi’s out­spo­ken crit­i­cism of Saudi Crown Prince Mo­ham­mad bin Sal­man that led to his bru­tal killing at the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul on Oct. 2.

Khashoggi’s death is a stark re­minder of the fa­tal­i­ties suf­fered by cor­re­spon­dents around the world who are be­ing killed sim­ply for do­ing their jobs. Ac­cord­ing to the Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists data­base of at­tacks on the press, 45 re­porters have died this year alone as a re­sult of mur­der, cross­fire or dan­ger­ous as­sign­ment. From 1995 to 2017, thou­sands of jour­nal­ists have lost their lives.

I’ve been a jour­nal­ist for some three decades, and those who know me can at­test to the fact that I have not lost one ounce of pas­sion and vigor over the years and re­main fear­less when it comes to call­ing out the wrongs in Hol­ly­wood. But, I have of­ten thought — and in times like these am acutely aware — that my job is friv­o­lous com­pared with those of the brave souls who put them­selves in harm’s way and put their lives on the line for their work.

That any jour­nal­ist, and I use the term loosely when it comes to the likes of Fox News right-wing host Tucker Carl­son, has the au­dac­ity to say that the global ou­trage over the killing of Khashoggi is “so false,” as he did, is be­yond of­fen­sive. He should be fired for sug­gest­ing that the pub­lic anger over a valiant man’s death was a “stunt.”

Carl­son and Fox News are mouth­pieces for the sick views prop­a­gated by Don­ald Trump, who vil­i­fies the me­dia and refers to it as “the enemy of the peo­ple.” The pres­i­dent has stirred up a fren­zied hos­til­ity to­ward the press by vi­cious hate­mon­gers. Case in point: the re­cent spate of pack­ages con­tain­ing pipe bombs mailed to those per­ceived to be Trump crit­ics (a sus­pect was ap­pre­hended in Florida on Oct. 26). CNN re­ceived two of the sus­pi­cious parcels. Oth­ers were sent to Demo­cratic politi­cians and Robert De Niro. This kind of twisted be­hav­ior runs con­trary to the tenets of a true democ­racy that pro­tects a free press.

“We did this shoot at a small stu­dio space in Hol­ly­wood that had an in­ti­mate vibe and a rooftop to catch some of that great fall light in L.A.,” says pho­tog­ra­pher Joe Pugliese. “Robin is so nat­u­ral in front of the cam­era, and I felt like she knew I was look­ing to cap­ture some of those in-be­tween mo­ments that draw you in.”

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