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After UNCA Chief Calls ICP a Mugger, Shouts of Crime & Slander, New Season

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 25 – The president of the UN Correspondents Association on February 22 called Inner City Press “a mugger” and said that it might be “ a crime” to send questions to other media organizations about their policies.

  The new president, a CBS reporter, screamed at Inner City Press that it was “slander” to say her name on air at the UN noon briefing.

  On February 21, Inner City Press on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access questioned the right of UNCA to claim the first question at briefings, that day and in the future.  Monday saw a continuation of this attempt to buttress UNCA's increasingly dubious position, announced by the group's president on February 15.

  Meanwhile the UNCA first vice president from Reuters -- also unnamed here -- complained about Inner City Press' series of reports about how he and his Agence France Presse counterpart, in support of Voice of America, sought to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN in 2012.
  Apparently, the Reuters bureau chief is now saying the the Voice of America documents obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act contain mis-statements by the VOA bureau chief.

  But he again refused to answer when asked directly about a document obtained under FOIA reflecting that UNCA met “very quietly” with UN officials to get Inner City Press thrown out. Click here for audio; click here to view the document.

  FUNCA was launched on December 7, 2012, to improve the access of journalists around the world covering the UN and its agencies and to defend freedom of the press from the type of stealth attack launched by Big Media members of UNCA in 2012.

  Since the name-shy CBS reporter took over its presidency last month, however, UNCA has sunk to new lows. Its “leaders” including from AFP have torn down flyers calling for reforms of archaic and exclusionary UN Media Access Guidelines in which UNCA has partnered.

   They are also connected to at least four anonymous social media accounts which try to discredit FUNCA members, to the point of alleging funding by terrorists.

   Nevertheless, the UNCA president after saying “I have nothing to say to this man” asked Inner City Press to come back to UNCA. Well, no. UNCA is the organization whose leaders banded together in 2012 to try to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN.

  Inner City Press asked, and asks: why didn't the CBS reporter, who is a lawyer, do at least minimal due diligence before accepting the former UNCA president's nomination to run unopposed for the position he wanted to give up?

  Her reports, when they happen, are called “Up To The Minute.” But when asked whether she was aware of or looked into UNCA's recent activities before becoming UNCA's figurehead, she cited a writer, Alan Riding, who was at the UN forty years ago and now lives in Paris.

  We say, name dropping won't cut it anymore, and information from forty year ago is not really Up To The Minute.

 That the interchange was on the record was repeatedly emphasized to her and her first vice president from Reuters, who says his past censorship demands should not or even cannot be reported. On February 22 he endeavored again to dictate the contents of this website, and of FUNCA flyers. Neither is acceptable.

   Since the UNCA president has tried to say she was misquoted -- even verbatim quotes of what she said at UN's untimely, unconstitutional annual meeting on February 15 -- we are uploading audio of her two and a half minute February 22 “opening statement," click here.

   Calm but crazy, as one listener has put it, while noting the static on the recording it was not known would have to be uploaded. Misquoted? Hardly.

   Minutes later, she was cutting off any attempt by Inner City Press to respond, throwing around and misusing words like “slander.”

  Click here for another sample three and a half minutes, and here for a final clip where in the face of a critique of UNCA as "Big Media" heavy, she screamed only, "Don't write about me."

   While she trumpets her law degree, frankly she does not seem understand the First Amendment to the US Constitution. For the record, writing to Voice of America is protected petition of government for the redress of grievances -- it is not even plausibly a “crime,” as she claimed.

  Screaming, name dropping and attempts at intimidation won't work: a new season has begun. Watch this site.

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