Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Just a side note about Voice of America spin

My academic writing is calling, and before I get there I have an update to post on the Aaron Schock Library of Congress Law Library report.

But since the little things also matter, I wanted to briefly point to an odd language game in a VOA story about the gassing of the Brazilian Embassy:
The international community has refused to recognize the interim government and has called for Mr. Zelaya to be reinstated with limited power until a presidential election is held.
Well, no. The international community (OAS, EU, UN) has called for Zelaya to be reinstated. Period. And until the end of of his term, which is in January 2010, not "until a presidential election is held".

The "limited power" thing? that is part of the Oscar Arias-negotiated, US State Department-inspired, San Jose Accord. It is one of the many unpalatable things about the San Jose Accord that President Zelaya should not have had to accept, but which he in fact did, despite the fact that the "limited power" business basically accepts the counter-factual claims of the de facto regime that Zelaya has evil intentions. (This theme has now, as the November election nears, changed into insinuations that Zelaya plans to "disrupt" elections-- but that gets us back to the astonishing Representative Aaron Schock, and on to the real post for the day.)

Do we have a right to demand that US-sponsored media, like US-sponsored research services, get the details right?


Anonymous said...

Radio Liberado reports aerial gassing in the area of the Brazilian embassy.
RAJ asks, "Do we have a right to demand that US-sponsored media, like US-sponsored research services, get the details right?"

We do as long as they don't have to listen. The Miami Herald carried a piece by Frances Robles that according to comments on Al Giordano's The Field trimmed statements by Zelaya to make him sound crazy and anti-Semitic, then laughed at him for the caricature created by the reporter. The New York Times and many other papers did similar things, making it pretty clear that this kind of smear tactic is centrally-originated (maybe just by reporters gossiping with one another; maybe with government encouragement). They did the same thing to discredit Bill Clinton and the same to discredit Al Gore.

And they're completely immune to listening! They've been flayed in the pages of Columbia Journalism Review, Public Editors have been brought unwilling to the confessional, and reporters have been treated with tidal waves of letters, mostly polite, showing them how they are disserving the public. They have been publicly shamed as "mediawhores" (a terrible slander against honest sex workers everywhere). And: Nothing! It only gets worse, year by year.


Anonymous said...

Channel 36 does not show the kind of crisis that I was hearing on Radio Liberado. It's possible that this was a re-play, but there are various reasons I don't think so.

As Drudge would say, "Developing."