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    Posted August 20, 2014 by
    Watertown, New York
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    What a Stupid Excuse For Arresting Reporters-Managing the Media's Images in Ferguson, Egypt, and Occupy Wall Street

    Journalism has become a much more dangerous profession as of late. Insurance companies may be adding another profession to their list of those requiring higher premiums for life insurance.
    No. No beheadings of journalists have taken place in Ferguson, MO., as yet.


    But like the three Al Jazeera journalists who were sentenced to prison in Egypt for painting the government there in the wrong light, here, in the United States, in Ferguson, police are arresting journalists for 'stupid reasons' by using equally stupid excuses.


    "Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, rationalizing the coordinated campaign against the media covering the Ferguson unrest:

    "I'm going to tell you in the midst of chaos, when officers are running around, we're not sure who's a journalist and who's not," Johnson said, according to an audio recording.
    "Yes, if I see somebody with a $50,000 camera on their shoulder, I'm pretty sure.
    But some journalists are walking around, and all you have is a cellphone because you're from a small media outlet. Some of you may just have a camera around your neck."
    Getty Images photographer Scott Olson was arrested by a highway patrol officer during a protest for the shooting death of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri August 18, 2014.
    Olson captures the essence of the conflict with his images-the saying," a picture is worth a thousand words" must have been written for Scott Olson.
    Henry A. Giroux sums up our government's actions of arresting journalists and their underlying motive for doing so, best in his article, "The Violence of Organized Forgetting" in Truthout.

    Giroux states eloquently that:
    "Fear, privatization and depoliticization are the organizing principles of American society at the current moment."

    "The collective sense of ethical imagination and social responsibility towards those who are vulnerable or in need of care has been increasingly viewed as a scourge or pathology."

    "What we are witnessing in the United States is the legacy of slavery and the criminalization of people of color reasserting itself in a society in which justice has been willingly and aggressively replaced by racial injustice."

    And finally:
    "The United States has dethroned any viable notion of politics committed to the promise of a sustainable democracy. We have given up on the notion of the common good, social justice and equality that has been replaced by the crude discourses of commerce and militarization."

    But he gives us hope:
    "Power is never completely on the side of domination and resistance is not a luxury, but a necessity."

    We have the right to assemble and voice our discontent. Journalists have a right to give witness to that dissent. And government has a responsibility as well which is to protect those rights even when the dissent that's expressed and the images portrayed, may not be favorable to the government and it's power.
    It is protecting those rights, that a government shows its true strength unlike what we see with Egypt imprisoning three Al Jazeera journalists.
    This is what separates our country from theirs, or has in the past.
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