Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Mexico: Giordano & Conroy vs. NYTimes & WashPost

Mexico: Giordano & Conroy vs. NYTimes & WashPost

January 26, 2005

The efforts of leading commercial journalists and U.S. drug warriors to derail the democratic process during the Mexican presidential election of 2000 provided some of the first material published on Narco News nearly five years ago. Today, we publish a new report by Al Giordano and Bill Conroy that reveals the same process is already gearing up as that country prepares for its next presidential elections in 2006.

Giordano and Conroy deconstruct two nearly identical stories published last weekend in the New York Times and the Washington post, perhaps the nation's two most influential newspapers. In them, correspondents Mary Jordan and Ginger Thompson, each papers' top simulator in Mexico, exploit the personal tragedies of a few Texas families to stir up old fears of narcos and kidnappers. They visit the city of Loredo, where several locals have gone missing across the nearby Mexican border. Rather than look into the real causes of these disappearances, they resort to the tired and inaccurate drug war narrative that dominates discussions on Mexico north of the border: these U.S. citizens, declare Jordan and Thompson, were kidnapped by Mexican narco-traffickers.

Giordano and Conroy write:

"The articles clearly did not serve the cause of the families. So who did they serve then? The truth? …the whole truth? …and nothing but the truth? Really?

"Or were the articles in the national 'newspapers of record' part of an orchestrated media campaign to invent a very different story, in which the reputations of these families and their missing got dragged through the mud as a kind of 'collateral damage' in the information war known as the 'war on drugs?'

"It's the eve of the 2006 presidential elections in Mexico, amigos. And the United States press corps, repeating the history of the 1988, 1994 and 2000 elections in Mexico, now sets out to find a sexy narco-connection to every story they publish or broadcast about the neighbor country to the south."

The authors go on to interview both the families of the missing who were betrayed by Jordan and Thompson, and several experienced border control agents... the kind of people who the reporters never bothered to talk to at all (their sole source for the "kidnapped by narcos" story came from a U.S. diplomat in Mexico). A former DEA agents tells Narco News:

"My sense is that this (the kidnapping of Americans) is something the drug traffickers would shy away from. That (their involvement) just doesn't make sense."

The authors also denounce the ways in which the commercial press in the U.S. "sexes up" any story about Mexico, especially near election time in that country, with horror stories of drug traffickers taking over the country and spreading chaos. "Mexico's drug war," warns Thompson, "has begun to move north of the border." Such meaningless statements do nothing to help Thompson's U.S. readers understand either the realities of drug trafficking under the U.S.-imposed prohibition, or what happened to the grieving families of Laredo, Texas. What they do accomplish, however, is to lay the groundwork for more U.S. interference in the upcoming election, where, as Giordano and Conroy report, "Mexico City's center-left and activist governor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador leads in opinion polls to the chagrin of Condoleeza Rice and company."

Read the full report, at:

We announced earlier this week a reshuffling of the staff here in the Narco Newsroom. With this report, our founder Al Giordano begins his return to being a correspondent - leaving, for the time being, the management of this ever-growing experiment in authentic journalism in the hands of the staff here in the newsroom; going back out into the field to better practice that authentic journalism he has preached these last few years. For Bill Conroy, this is another example of why he remains the best reporter on the U.S.-Mexico border, with sources that superstar journalists like Mary Jordan and Ginger Thompson can only dream of.

So stay tuned, kind readers... less than a month out, 2005 is shaping up to be a very interesting year here in the Narco Newsroom, in Mexico, and throughout this hemisphere of ours.

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor, Narco News

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Video And Report: Cory Doctorow Talks Machine Learning And Big Data

International internet and digital technology commentator Cory Doctorow talked about machine learning and big data at the Privacy Commissioner’s PrivacyLive event on 13 March 2018 in Wellington. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The #MeToo Movement In Sweden

The #MeToo campaign has been approached by Sweden in an impressively systematic fashion. As Bloomberg News reports, #MeToo subsets have emerged in almost every imaginable sector of Swedish society.. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Meddling For Empire - The CIA Comes Clean

One of the difficulties behind the podium stance of virtue taken by the US political establishment on Russian interference in the country’s electoral process is one of simple hypocrisy. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Gun Debate, Here And In The US

Gun ownership in the US is a mystery to New Zealanders, and so is the constitutional fetish that surrounds it. However, the attitudes involved are not static and unchanging, even if it can feel that way in the wake of each new gun atrocity. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Mueller Probe, And Russia’s Economy

In itself, the indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for interfering in the 2016 US wlll do little to change pre-existing views about the Robert Mueller investigation into Russia’s meddling in US presidential politics... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Nunes Memo

Every now and then the US system erupts and throws up a piece of political magma that can’t be described or explained in any rational fashion... More>>