Finnish reporter Jessikka Aro and anti-Trump CNN are a match made in heaven. Neither can recognize that it’s not courageous for a news media outlet, or a journalist, to criticize, berate, or show bias about the person you are reporting about. Aro was to receive a Women of Courage Award from First Lady Melania Trump. Then someone at the State Department discovered that she went out of her way to correct (berate) the president on Twitter.
She was notified that she had received the award in January. She was disinvited when the State Department discovered her Tweet about the president. The award ceremony was in March.
Her invite was rescinded almost at the last minute,” said Brian Stelter, who interviewed her on CNN. “I talked with Aro about what she believes happened and about what she wants to know, and probably most importantly, about the courageous reporting that she did to earn the award in the first place.”
Aro investigated the Kremlin’s social media impact on the world, in her words: the “so called Kremlin trolls. I specifically tried to investigate how are they capable to manipulating real people’s ideas and even behavior and not just in Russia but across Russia’s borders.”
“That I would be the one getting this honorable, precious award,” she said. “I was so happy because my work cost me so much troubles and I have become target of series of crimes, aggravated crimes as well.”
Aro said when she found out that her Tweets were the reason why she was disinvited, she was “horrified.” She was probably not as horrified as member of the mainstream media when they found out the Mueller probe was a bust.
This is her explanation of what happened:
Trump was himself attacking the media, she said, claiming “THE RIGGED AND CORRUPT MEDIA IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.”
I had Tweeted straight, directly as an answer to President Trump, himself, in which Trump was himself attacking the media“I had directly answered him and I had ‘told him’ that “The Kremlin doesn’t need any troll factories as long as it has YOU trolling on behalf of it.”
“Then I thought, I still stand by what I said and what I Tweeted, and I think President Trump’s attacks against the media are disgraceful and need to be discussed on Twitter as well.”
When the disinvite was discovered by the magazine, the State Department denied the disinvite, saying it was a “regrettable error.”
I was so grateful when I found out that there was an investigation into it by the Democrat senators,” Aro said.
She said she was looking forward to the Inspector General’s investigation into the matter. “I really want to know, ‘Who was the person who really gave the order, to cancel the award and what would he or she like to tell about her motivation in doing so? She was also looking forward to traveling to America to share her work and help American journalist cover this topic.
Somebody at the State Department was worried about how it would look if Aro was on stage with the First Lady, Stelter said.
Here is how Foreign Policy reported the incident:
“It created a shit storm of getting her unceremoniously kicked off the list,” said one U.S. diplomatic source familiar with the internal deliberations. “I think it was absolutely the wrong decision on so many levels,” the source said. The decision “had nothing to do with her work.”
But that’s the point. Her Tweets had nothing to do with her work. They were unprofessional. They show that she has a personal bias against the president by suggesting that he is trolling someone, anyone. If Aro has information about how the president is trolling anyone, she should be writing about it. She isn't. That’s the problem.
If she had corrected the president in a way that is courteous and respectful, there would not be a problem. The diplomatic source is wrong. No journalist should go out of their way to show bias against someone they are reporting about. The fact that Jim Acosta at CNN and other journalists at liberal news outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post do it regularly does not matter.
Further, if she is as intelligent and sophisticated as she seems, why does she not realize that the news media in the United States are in creating news items that are not real, distorting the news because they dislike the president. It seems that she does not know as much about the United States and the president as she thinks.
After searching for Aro's reporting, it's not clear where it is, since it does not appear in English on the Internet.
Lastly, Aro should know that the Kremlin has been distorting reality and the news to their advantage for more than half a century. Calling it trolling or a troll factory does not make it something new.
© 2019 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as on topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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