The organization Reporters Without Borders issues an annual ranking of nations on press freedoms and this year the US ranks 49th in the world out of 180. Five Scandinavian countries Finland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden take the top spots. El Salvador, the country once notorious for its death squads that abducted and murdered any critics, including journalists, of its dictatorship, now ranks above the US at #45.
This is the worst performance by the US since president Obama took office, which is no surprise given his administration’s appalling lack of transparency and persecution of whistleblowers and reporters, and its previous worst was #53 under George W. Bush, also no surprise.
But do not expect that this abysmal performance will cause any soul-searching about why the US ranks so low. After all, thanks to the Glorious War on Terror that we are now permanently engaged in, killing of civilians, the most brutal methods of torture, and indefinite detention of even innocent people without trial or access to family and lawyers, are all seen as just fine and dandy and not sufficient to shake the illusion of its citizens that they live in the most moral of all nations.
Given that level of insouciance, one would not expect the public to care the slightest about something as trivial as press freedoms, no?