Luis Gómez: Malice in the Bolivian Media
Gómez: Malice in the Bolivian Media
March 15, 2005
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For the past week we have brought you running, up-to-the-minute coverage and commentary on the current Bolivian social and political crisis, straight from Acting Publisher Luis Gómez's notebook in our group weblog, the Narcosphere.
Today, in The Narco News Bulletin, Gómez looks at how the commercial media in Bolivia have manipulated their coverage of events to benefit the government, leading to rising tensions between the social movements and reporters.
Gómez gives some of the history of the relationship between the media and protests in Bolivia, and gives as an example the photos published the day after President Mesa's "half-resignation" speech last Sunday. Tightly-cropped shots gave readers the impression of a massive crowd that had poured into La Paz's central plaza to support the president. In fact, the crowd was miniscule, especially compared to the multitudes that turned out for a resistance meeting the following day in El Alto.
Gómez goes on a much more serious distortion of the truth: the cover story on the most recent issue of the newsmagazine Datos. This "investigation" in a supposedly respectable magazine (whose chief once held a post in the Sánchez de Lozada administration) claims to prove that the Bolivian insurrection of October 2003 was, in fact, funded by foreigners, specifically U.S. financier George Soros. It is a startling claim, one absolutely unsupported by any real evidence, save an article from a hardly reputable U.S. publication:
"Immediately after saying that Soros funded Evo Morales and Felipe Quispe in October 2003, the author of this article jumps into a summary of the content from a U.S. publication that has touched on the issue of Soros and his links to coca and Bolivia: the Executive Intelligence Review. This source cited in Datos' `investigation,' which by its name alone seems to be a serious publication, is none other than the reproductive organ for the fascistic ravings of Lyndon LaRouche, the well-known fringe political figure who once, while fighting against Zionism, had the good taste to say the Holocaust was `a lie.'"
There are even more outrageous claims in the Datos story; read Gómez's full report, here:
From somewhere in a country called América,
Managing Editor, Narco News