“Freedom of the press” is a subjective term, for while it is good to have open communication, the form this takes can vary by society, and it can be dangerous for some societies because the cause of “freedom” can be used to promote revolution. Thus while some people will advocate for a cause for another person, they will not support the same principle for themselves, not because of objective differences, but because of power and manipulation.
An interesting examples of this was seen in an interview by NPR with Secretary of State and, of most interest, the former head of the CIA Mike Pompeo. During the interview, he supported the ‘freedom of the press’ in various Central Asian nations and Russia, but when asked a lot of questions by NPR, it is reported after the interview he cursed at and insulted the interviewer for asking him so many questions.
For the past four days, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been calling for authoritarian governments in eastern Europe and Central Asia to ease restrictions on press freedom despite criticism for his own treatment of journalists at home.
In Belarus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan over the weekend and again on Monday, Pompeo raised human rights issues, including freedom of the press, with his interlocutors and denied any double-standard was at play.
Pompeo defended his unhappiness with a National Public Radio interviewer who asked him last month about the ouster of the former ambassador to Ukraine. Further, he said his conduct, which the journalist said included berating her with profanities once the interview was over, did not demonstrate a lack of respect for a free press.
Pompeo responded in an official statement that the interviewer had “lied” to him, and he called her conduct “shameful.” He said the incident was “another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt” President Donald Trump and his administration. NPR said it stood by its journalist’s reporting. (source)