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August 23, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:15am

Empire journalist on Star Wars assignment harassed by US border agent in ‘fake news’ rant

By Freddy Mayhew

A film journalist on assignment to report on the latest Star Wars movie has said he was accused of being part of the “fake news media” by a US border official upon entering the country.

James Dyer, digital editor at Empire magazine, took to Twitter after the encounter with the Customs and Border Protection agent at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California, last night.

He tweeted: “Wow. Just… wow. Just went through LAX immigration. Presented my journalist visa and was stopped by the CBP agent and accused of being part of the ‘fake news media’.

“He wanted to know if I’d ever worked for CNN or MSNBC or other outlets that are ‘spreading lies to the American people’. He aggressively told me that journalists are liars and are attacking their democracy.”

Dyer said the conversation took place at the passport control desk and that he was not detained or mistreated. He said he did not make a complaint about the official’s comments.

Dyer said he thought the official was joking at first. He added:“I don’t think it’s right to say this kind of thing in an official capacity but he’s entitled to his political views.”

“Fake news media” is a term frequently used by US President Donald Trump to attack news publications that are critical of his regime.

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Dyer said: “This isn’t news but the malignant affect this presidency has had on what was once a beacon of democracy and freedom is absolutely chilling.”

A top customs official apologised to a Buzzfeed News reporter earlier this year after he was “aggressively questioned” by a passport control agent in New York City airport over articles relating to Trump, the website reported.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set for release later this year.

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