A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, Telemundo's "Enfoque" news talk show provide valuable insight into election

Telemundo's José Díaz-Balart interviews student protesters, former foreign minister Castañeda and pollster Roy Campos; show also has segment on The Guardian's report on Peña Nieto's media dealings with Televisa

Guardian's correction on its story leaves much to be desired

The Los Angeles Times' Ken Ellingwood and Tracy Wilkinson have a good story on how the Institutional Revolutionary Party never really went away after losing the 2000 and 2006 presidential elections. The lead story in the print edition is entitled "The fall and rise of the PRI in Mexico," and ran next to the paper's other big story, about the Los Angeles Kings first-ever hockey championship ("L.A.'s New Royalty.")

The New York Times' Randal Archibold, in a story entitled, "In Mexico, a Candidate Stands Out Despite Attacks," quotes former U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow as saying the PRI, after losing the presidential election, simply regrouped at the local level. Davidow, also the former president of the Institute of the Americas, will be speaking about the election at 9 a.m. Friday at the institute on the campus of the University of California San Diego. Talk information and registration.

Meanwhile, Sunday's "Enfoque" news talk show on Telemundo, which took place in Mexico City before Sunday night's debate, was full of excellent analysis and background on the presidential election. Host José Díaz-Balart had:
jorge castaneda and jose diaz balart• An interview with former Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda, who said former President Vicente Fox's call last week for PANistas to vote for the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto if it appeared populist candidate López Obrador might win was consistent with Fox's actions to do whatever he could to prevent López Obrador from winning in 2006. He said Peña Nieto and López Obrador needed to attack each other in the debate; that did not happen, however. Photo: Castañeda (right) explains Fox's actions to Díaz-Balart.
• An interview with Mitofsky pollster Roy Campos, who went over the events of the last week. Campos said López Obrador appeared to make a mistake by indicating he would only accept the election results if he won.
• An interview with student protest leaders opposed to Peña Nieto.
• A segment on The Guardian's report by Jo Tuckman last week on PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto's media dealings with Televisa when he was governor of Mexico state, which was largely based on 2005 reports by Proceso magazine's Jenaro Villamil, who was interviewed by Telemundo. The Guardian reported that a WikiLeaks cable from the U.S. Embassy in September 2009 says, "It is widely accepted, for example, that the television monopoly Televisa backs the governor and provides him with an extraordinary amount of airtime and other kinds of coverage." The Guardian said the document was titled: "A look at Mexico State, Potemkin village style." One employee of a firm involved in the media dealings was Jessica de Lamadrid, one of the women Peña Nieto had an affair with; the Guardian said many of the documents were saved under her name, noting that she believed many of the documents were forgeries.

What might be more damning in the Guardian's story, if true, is apparent Fox administration payments for media coverage and his possible strategizing with Televisa to weigh down López Obrador with unfavorable publicity before the 2006 election. Guardian column on the matter.

Guardian runs correction: The Guardian ran a correction on its story that said:
"• This article was amended on 8 June 2012. The original said that 'the current wave of protests against perceived media dirty tricks was triggered on 10 May when Televisa first ignored an anti-Peña Nieto protest'. This has been corrected."

The Guardian's correction is still inaccurate. The correction changes the words "first ignored" to "downplayed" and has the student protest occurring a day before it took place. Televisa's main Joaquín López-Doriga news program on Friday, May 11 ran three minutes on the students' protest at the Universidad Iberoamericana that day, at the same time slot in the program where it has been running its campaign stories throughout the election season. Televisa did, however, follow that with two minutes of voice transmission of Peña Nieto campaign coordinator Luis Videgaray. However much Videgaray might have tried to spin the event, five minutes of coverage to the Iberomericana story in a newscast that lasts less than an hour was considerable.

During the next week, the news program left its coverage of the encounter to the show's humor section on Monday, but did lead off its Friday, May 18 newscast with a section that lasted more than eight minutes on student protests in front of Televisa offices. The same day, the May 11 protests were featured on the program's "Mangas del Chaleco" humor section and in the opinion piece of León García Soler, who welcomed the student action, in part because it helped break the monotony of a boring election. On Monday, May 21, the news program teased in its opening to more than seven minutes of coverage of #yosoy132.

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Also Monday, Vázquez Mota's webpage was hacked and replaced with messages to vote for López Obrador. Story in Frontera (PDF).