Mexico: Pravda on the Potomac is on the case!
Charles at Mercury Rising leaves 'em whimpering. After praising WaPo what they covered accurately--and it's great that WaPo actually has a reporter on the ground in Mexico City--he tears Manuel Roig-Renza several new ones. It's so fun to watch I'm going to quote a lot of it:
Let's start from a little meta analysis, introducing the cast of character puppets the WaPo parades forth for its Punch and Judy show:
There is The Mob. They are poor, filled with "frustration and rage." They wave signs, They pump their fists. They suffer "decades of perceived indignities and a sense of persecution," (emphasis added) rather than, say, decades of real indignities and persecution like being forced off their ancestral lands, shot, beaten, and raped, and having elections stolen. They are clearly insane and dangerous.
There is Lopez Obrador: He is a "failed populist candidate," i.e., the WaPo is telling us that his allegations of electoral fraud are bogus. He "ignited the smoldering emotions of his followers," making him a dangerous incendiary.
There is FeCal: A "champion of free trade," i.e. the White Knight.
There is Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute, FeCal's charger, "which has a stellar international reputation," assuming you only ask right-wingers.
If you're getting the sense that you've seen children's cartoons with more convincingly constructed characters, you're right.
Let's now enumerate the outright lies and pickaninny-grade caricatures.
1. "On Saturday, he gave a mega-display of street power...." The point of the demo was not to show "street power." That comes next week. The point was to speak directly to his supporters, many of whom may not get their news from newspapers or from the Murdochized TV. As he "communication is difficult" since the Mexican electronic media is as bad as the US. The streets are their blogs.
2. "The crowd chanted, 'Strong, strong!' when LÃ³pez Obrador stepped to the microphone." This is probably a mistranslation of "Fuerte! Fuerte!" or "Loud! Loud!," a not unreasonable request from a large crowd. Or perhaps the WaPo misheard the cried of "Fraude! Fraude!" (Fraud! Fraud!) that the McClatchy man heard.
3. "He got a moment of mass catharsis, an outrageously loud, communal venting." As Atrios would say, "Oy." Half a million people think they are living under a dictatorship and it's "venting."
4. One of the more amusing gaffes in this article involves residual editor's marks: "x 'They stole this from us,' said ConcepciÃ³n Myen, 68, a lifelong Mexico City resident who is unemployed. 'This is the worst thing that can happen to Mexico.'x" In conventional editing, xes are used for typeface blemishes. Since this is the WaPo, I would imagine those xes are probably editor's thoughtcrime marks.
5. But it gets funnier, in a sick sort of way. Why is Concepcion Myen unemployed? Well, if you noticed, she is 68. Even in Mexico, people are expected to be able to retire at some point. But in Punch and Judy world, they have to be slugabeds to be members of the angry Mob.
6. "CuauhtÃ©moc CÃ¡rdenas, lost a presidential race that many international observers have said was stolen" If the election was stolen, it wasn't lost. The WaPo is trying to imply that those international observers are wrong. They weren't
7. Lopez Obrador stated that there is no president-elect, since the election is disputed. But the WaPo calls Calderon's claiming to be president elect and receiving phone calls from Bush and Stephen "Bush North" Harper "formalities." They shoulda listened to the Elections Court. Judge Eloy Fuentes said that no disputed election in non-annulable. "We rule on the validity [of the election]" he said, in a clear slap at the the head of the election institute, Ugalde.
Beautiful. A classic example of narrative trumps story. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
And, just a coincidence, mind you, so helpful to the right in so many ways.