January 18, 2018
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Dutch Reporters Offer Master Class By Refusing to Let Trump Official Tell 'Blatant Lies'

"This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions."

by Julia Conley


Weeks after leaving a Dutch reporter stunned by denying that he'd made televised remarks about terrorism, several of the Netherlands' political journalists refused to allow a Trump appointee to ignore their questions about the incident, demonstrating effective political journalism while many American news outlets are criticized for allowing elected officials to get away with blatant and repeated lies.

Reporters at a press conference repeatedly asked Pete Hoekstra, the new U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, to comment on his remarks at a hearing in 2015. Hoekstra urged the press to move on from the issue, but to no avail.

In Hoekstra's comments in 2015, he said areas of the country had been marked "no-go zones" because of terrorism and that "there are politicians that are being burnt."

When Hoekstra ignored a reporter's question about the latter statement, one journalist said, "This is not how it works."

"This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions," said another.

Watch:

On social media, political observers remarked on the video's clear depiction of not only the Trump administration's lack of transparency and honesty—but of the failure of much of the American corporate press to hold elected officials and their spokespeople accountable for their lies and incorrect statements.

In contrast to the Dutch reporters at the briefing, the White House Press Corps has been criticized for agreeing to off-camera briefings for several weeks last summer and failing to call out White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and follow up when she refuses to answer questions or responds with lies about the administration. Many political journalists have also denounced the New York Times for publishing interviews with President Donald Trump that include few or no follow-up questions.


Originally published in Common Dreams | Photo: @anneowenphd/Twitter

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