Jul
06
2009

More Pro-Coup Free-Speech Martyrs in Latin America?

Author and blogger Nikolas Kozloff has a BuzzFlash posting (7/1/09) about how, if you "read or listen to the mainstream media these days,"

you get the impression that [last] Sunday's coup in Honduras was all about a simple disagreement over the constitutionality of presidential term limits. But as the coup unfolds, it's becoming clear that the authorities want something more: the restoration of Honduras' conservative political order and an end to President Manuel Zelaya's independent foreign policy that had reached out to leftist countries such as Cuba and Venezuela.

As part of their effort to consolidate power, officials have moved quickly to restrain the free flow of information, in particular by cracking down on progressive-leaning media. Only TV stations sympathetic to the newly installed coup regime have been left alone, while others have been shut down. The climate of repression is similar to what we have seen elsewhere in Latin America in recent years. Specifically, there are eerie parallels to the April 2002 coup in Venezuela when the briefly installed right-wing government imposed a media blackout to further its own political ends.

Not that you would have read anything on that from prominent U.S. reporters. They reserve their free speech defenses exclusively for outlets helping the fight against official U.S. enemies–deserving or not. See the FAIR Media Advisory: "Coup Co-Conspirators as Free-Speech Martyrs: Distorting the Venezuelan Media Story" (5/25/07).