This doesn't come as a shock, but it sure isn't fun to hear: This morning Reporters Without Borders released their Press Freedom Index, the leading survey measuring freedom of the press by country. As a result of 2011's well-documented targeting of journalists covering the Occupy movement, the US fell 27 places down the list (to put that in perspective, Bahrain fell by 29). Not that we, the land of the free, were doing so hot in the ratings last year, either. We were #20 then, and we're #47 now, just slightly better than Argentina and slightly worse than Taiwan. In the top 10 are countries like Finland, the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland, and the worst of the worst include Sudan, China, and Eritrea.
We've ranked even lower in the past, with an all-time low at #53 in 2006, thanks to Bush's policies regarding critics of his "war on terror." More on the history of our wildly varying standing here.