02:17 GMT05 August 2021
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    The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media called on the US administration to refrain from attacks on the media as they cause deep concern and degrade the essential role the media plays in a democratic society.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US President Donald Trump accusing media of being "fake" and making up stories, as well as deepening divisions inside the country, is problematic and a cause for deep concern, Harlem Desir, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media, in a letter released Monday.

    Last week during a rally in Arizona, Trump accused the media of being "truly dishonest", "fake", "bad" and "crooked", of "mak[ing] up stories" and deepening the divisions within the country, the OSCE said.

    "I urge the United States administration to refrain from delivering such attacks on the media. The US President’s statements are deeply problematic in that they degrade the essential role the media plays in every democratic society, holding governments to account and offering a platform for a diversity of voices," Desir said in his letter to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as quoted by the organization.

    The OSCE official stressed that such statements were particularly worrying and could have a broader international impact, given that the United States had been one of global leaders in securing freedom of speech for a long time.

    "In addition to undermining the credibility of the media, such statements, especially those identifying the media as the 'enemy of the people', could also make journalists more vulnerable to being targeted with violence and abuse," Desir said.

    He also noted that Trump's remarks about media were contradicting the US international commitments on media freedom and the US Constitution’s First Amendment.

    It's not the first time that the US president attacks the mainstream media.

    On June, Donald Trump called on the CNN broadcaster to take down "fake news" following the scandal around a retracted article dedicated to the alleged ties between the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a member of Trump's team.

    Later on, Trump posted a video of himself "beating" a person whose face has been replaced by a CNN logo.


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