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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Biden: “The free press is the pillar of a free society”

US President Joe Biden has vowed that his administration will work to secure the release of journalists and US citizens held by foreign governments, while calling on the country to stand up for democracy. “The free press is a pillar, perhaps the pillar, of a free society. Not its enemy,” he has declared.

At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the president has called for the release of the journalist captured by the Russians, Evan Gershkovich, that of fellow journalist Austin Tice, a ‘freelancer’ kidnapped in Syria in 2012 and that of Paul Whelan, the former infant US Marine serving a 16-year prison sentence in Russia.

“Everyone in this room is with you,” Biden declared, addressing Gershkovich. “We are working every day to secure his release, looking for opportunities and tools to bring him home,” NBC reported.

In his monologue, he has also discussed his announcement to run for the 2024 campaign, stating that America’s democracy remains “fragile.”

He has attacked both Donald Trump, who is the favorite to run with the Republican party, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who ranks second in polls among possible candidates.

“He had a lot of Ron DeSantis jokes ready, but Mickey Mouse already beat him up a lot,” the president quipped, referring to the governor’s ongoing dispute with the Walt Disney Company.

Biden has finished his speech calling for unity and for Americans to defend democracy and embrace the truth. “The poison is running through our democracy,” he recounted.

“We know in our bones that our democracy is still at risk,” he said, adding that “it is in our power to preserve our democracy. We can, we must, we will.”

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