To: John Fahey, Chairman & CEO of National Geographic
Re: “Subtle (and not-so-subtle) intimidation”
Last month, Dr. Ian Hancock wrote you a letter in which he described the anonymous threats he and his family have received following his public criticism of American Gypsies, a new series on the National Geographic Channel.
While Dr. Hancock patiently awaits your response, he is forced to deal with more anonymous, abusive, and intimidating phone calls like this one, which he recently received on his office answering machine (warning: crude language):
This no doubt makes your stomach churn, especially given the inspiring speech you recently delivered as co-chair for the 2012 First Amendment Awards presented by the Reporters Commitee for Freedom of the Press:
Speaking of “intimidation” by those who “seek to deny that right” to people “right here at home,” here again is the sort of abuse Dr. Hancock confronts for respectfully criticizing the actions of… well, John, of the Society you lead:
(Don’t confuse this case of thuggery with a different anonymous bully who recently called Dr. Hancock’s office and threatened: “You come after my family, I’m coming after yours.”)
This isn’t happening in some far-away country, John. It’s taking place right here at home, in your own backyard.
What better way to demonstrate your unflinching commitment to the First Amendment than to publicly express our Society’s — and our society’s — solidarity with Dr. Hancock?