I never in a million years thought I would be up here on stage appealing for the freedom and safety of American journalists at home.
Ladies and gentlemen, I added the bits from candidate Trump as a reminder of the peril we face.
I actually hoped that once president-elect, all that that would change, and I still do.
But I was chilled when the first tweet after the election was about “professional protesters incited by the media”.
He walked back the part about the protesters but not the part about the media.
We are not there. But postcard from the world: this is how it goes with authoritarians like Sisi, Erdoğan, Putin, the Ayatollahs, Duterte, et al.
As all the international journalists we honor in this room tonight and every year know only too well:
First the media is accused of inciting, then sympathizing, then associating – until they suddenly find themselves accused of being full-fledged terrorists and subversives.
Then they end up in handcuffs, in cages, in kangaroo courts, in prison – and then who knows?
Donald trolls journos on Twitter. This is just like being arrested and tried in a kangaroo court. No, really!