Melissa Chan is a national and foreign affairs reporter with Al Jazeera. She worked as a broadcast correspondent for Al Jazeera America.
Chan also reported from Cuba, Canada, South Korea, North Korea, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Mongolia, Moscow, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza. With Al Jazeera English, Chan served as China correspondent for five years before her expulsion from the authoritarian country in 2012 amidst backlash over the channel's reports.
That expulsion from China and revocation of her press credentials led Chan to share her experience on Twitter in the wake of the Trump White House expelling CNN correspondent Jim Acosta. Chan shared that China did the same thing with her in 2012.
As someone who has had my press credentials denied by authoritarian China, I never thought I'd see this crap happen… https://t.co/ZwwT2pI4Em— Melissa Chan (@Melissa Chan)1541685405.0
Right now, they're singling out @Acosta. But tomorrow it'll be Journalist X. And later Journalist Y and Z. It can h… https://t.co/u7GT3uY1j3— Melissa Chan (@Melissa Chan)1541685499.0
They'll start casting suspicion about not just your work, but your very character. All they need is a whiff of anyt… https://t.co/cebwR5WkUm— Melissa Chan (@Melissa Chan)1541685635.0
In a country with a constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press, government attempts to silence certain reporters the President does not like—Trump's own words from his press conference that resulted in Acosta's expulsion—and references to the press as the "enemy of the people" by the leader of that country seem incongruous.
Chan continued with her story of her time living in an authoritarian country where freedom of the press is not the First Amendment of the Constitution.
And you know what? This too will just be today's news, a blip. Because we're in the era of the exhausted majority.… https://t.co/u6AgJbYqc4— Melissa Chan (@Melissa Chan)1541685764.0
And that, folks, is how a billion+ people in China live in an authoritarian state. Guess what? You don't feel daily… https://t.co/OnXNzUDuhb— Melissa Chan (@Melissa Chan)1541685956.0
While you don't feel daily oppression in an authoritarian country, part of my job was to see what happened when the… https://t.co/z4eHHvWvWT— Melissa Chan (@Melissa Chan)1541686035.0
Chan concluded with advice for other White House press corps members.
BY THE WAY WHITE HOUSE REPORTERS: Something foreign correspondents in places like Beijing and Moscow have learned:… https://t.co/TSZKdi9nG7— Melissa Chan (@Melissa Chan)1541687864.0
Her words and first hand experience with an authoritarian government's handling of the press resonated with people.
Others felt the Trump administration's relationship with the press does not conform with the vision the constitution and First Amendment held.
Others with firsthand experience with dictators chimed in as well.
@melissakchan @Acosta I've been saying this from day one: I am reliving the Gaddafi regime. Immigrants that escap… https://t.co/Y51DVcCUbD— A Crafty Arab wrote a #PB about #IlhanOmar (@A Crafty Arab wrote a #PB about #IlhanOmar)1541688188.0
@acraftyarab @melissakchan @Acosta Bless you for making it out of that situation- sorry to see the times we are rel… https://t.co/BgIhGHbAel— Tracey Claybon (@Tracey Claybon)1541689521.0
@northwestraven1 @melissakchan @Acosta I was brought here as a child by parents who believed America was safer. No… https://t.co/rCbyBWYv04— A Crafty Arab wrote a #PB about #IlhanOmar (@A Crafty Arab wrote a #PB about #IlhanOmar)1541699727.0
@acraftyarab @northwestraven1 @melissakchan @Acosta I’m so sorry... 😢. Hopefully, those days are not gone forever. Stay strong!— Deanie McLaughlin 🇺🇸☘️ (@Deanie McLaughlin 🇺🇸☘️)1541702934.0
People also likened the President to a narcissist.
@melissakchan @Acosta I lived in a Narcissist run family and recognize ALL that is happening. The problem is the c… https://t.co/zb9iGGGh2n— LGP🦚 (@LGP🦚)1541688348.0
@pitbullgurl38 @melissakchan @Acosta Thank you. We the people have to stop it. It won't go away, it won't settle… https://t.co/9ttjiytB7e— LGP🦚 (@LGP🦚)1541690802.0
On Thursday afternoon, after drawing criticism over sharing an altered video of Jim Acosta to justify his press access revocation, Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated the White House stood behind their decision.