Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What's Wrong with Mainstream Media: the BBC takes the prize today

Start with the headline:

"Honduras still split one year after President's removal"

Removal? a little sanitized, perhaps, but maybe the story will correctly label what happened a coup.

But readers will look in vain for a clear statement that this was a coup, a rupture of the Honduran constitutional order, and illegal.

Instead, repeatedly the reporter, Julian Miglierini, says things like "Manuel Zelaya was removed from office and expelled from the country".

Well, no. President Zelaya was kidnapped and expatriated (illegally) and then the Congress passed a resolution (for which they had no authority) claiming he was no longer the President and appointing their own head as dictator at the head of a de facto regime.

Perhaps worse, Miglierini describes what ensued as "deep uncertainty" rather than dictatorship, repression, and resistance.

But then, he thinks that the event he dare not name only "left Honduras politically isolated for several months".

Even by his own chronology, in which the inauguration of Porfirio Lobo Sosa appears to have been magical healing that started "a period of relative stability", half of 2009 was consumed by the de facto regime and its destructive isolationist policies.

And what does "a period of relative stability" mean? the confrontation in the Bajo Aguan; the murders of journalists; the assassinations of members of the resistance, and of ecological activists; these hardly mark "stability". Miglierini simply channels the Lobo Sosa administration's retread of the tried and true claim that the violence is due to "a general crime wave" caused by drug cartels.

Most vehemently, the coup of June 28 was not "the climax of a political crisis". It was another step in a long boiling political crisis that continues today.

No surprise then that
Many in Honduras think that, 12 months on, the political divisions that precipitated the crisis have not subdued; some even argue that they have worsened.

But you will search in vain for the voices and names of many individuals who argue things have worsened, or even acknowledgment of the visible organized resistance, which in Miglierini's wretched reporting is relabeled "supporters of Manuel Zelaya".

Only Patricia Licona, a former Zelaya administration official, is quoted to balance the voices of Lobo Sosa, Mario Canahuati, and most egregiously, Martha Lorena Alvarado, a member of Roberto Micheletti's regime, who makes what reads as a thinly veiled threat against Lobo Sosa for even talking about complying with the constitutional requirement to let Honduran citizens with whom she disagrees politically return to their country:
For example, when (Mr Lobo) sounds too indulgent with Zelaya's possible return, he irks part of the Honduran people.

No wonder "Mr Lobo's government is struggling to leave the crisis behind".

The concern in Honduras is not just "how solid the democratic order", as Miglierini would have it.

As we have underlined many times here, and paraphrasing Brazil's Celso Amorim: a coup is a hard thing to leave behind.

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