BBG Watch Commentary

Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press

His name is Matthew Russell Lee and he operates as Inner City Press. The Voice of America Executive Editor Steve Redisch has asked the U.N. to “review” Lee’s press accreditation because Mr. Lee dared to send him two or three emails asking the U.S. government official, i.e. Mr. Redisch, for help in resolving his dispute with a VOA correspondent, also a U.S. government employee, at the U.N. — a reasonable step under the circumstances for any American citizen to take in exercising his First Amendment rights to petition the government and to seek a redress of a grievance without an expectation of punishment or retaliation. Mr. Lee met with a rude surprise from Mr. Redisch.

The Inner City Press U.N. correspondent felt that the VOA reporter’s effort to expel him from the voluntary United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) was endangering his safety due to threats he has started to receive from Sri Lankan extremists. They read about his dispute with VOA in media reports and started to send Mr. Lee messages rejoicing over his imminent expulsion and the end of his human rights reporting that focused on their war crimes and their handling by the U.N. They added some threats.

VOA Executive Editor Steve Redisch did not respond to Mr. Lee’s emails but instead accused him of “frequent” and “borderline harassing correspondence.” He urged the U.N. in the strongest terms to pull Mr. Lee’s press accreditation.

BBG Watch has found two mainstream media articles about Matthew Russell Lee.

As Blogs Proliferate, a Gadfly With Accreditation at the U.N. by Maria Aspan in The New York Times, and

and Talk story about Matthew Russell Lee and Inner City Press, a Web site that covers the United Nations…
by Eric Konigsberg in The New Yorker. The New Yorker article is by subscription only.

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