Flashback: Honduras, May 2007

This is from the extreme right-wing BBC, so take it with a grain of salt:

Honduras TV gets government order

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has ordered all the country’s TV and radio stations to carry government propaganda for two hours a day.

He says that the short-term measure is necessary because of unfair coverage of his government.

Mr Zelaya recently accused the owners of the country’s news media of exploiting political and social problems in Honduras to get rich.

He won elections in November 2005, but has poor relations with the media.

Last month, Mr Zelaya unsuccessfully tried to get Congress to ban the publication of reports on violent crime – a massive problem in Honduras.

Military tactics?

However, in this latest measure he has imposed his will on the country’s media outlets.

From Monday, 28 May, hundreds of TV and radio channels will be forced to broadcast simultaneous interviews with him and with government ministers.

The aim, said Mr Zelaya, was to allow them to explain a series of projects and measures which are underway, and in so doing counteract what he called misinformation about his government.

The country’s main journalists’ union immediately called on the president to revoke his decision, in which he has employed special powers rarely used by democratically-elected governments.

The union compared the move to the military governments which ruled Honduras until the early 1980s. …

But you know journalists’ unions – buncha reactionary running dogs…

Seriously, despite being a fascist and all, I have no side in this dispute, but could we all chill with the instant canonization of obscure political figures none of us knew anything about a week ago?

9 thoughts on “Flashback: Honduras, May 2007”

  1. yea cause the bbc is not a state funded channel and is a friend of pincos and lefties everywhere. and media monopolies owned by half a dozen oligarchs equals a free and democratic press. and these same channels are so pro-freedom that they're operating a self imposed blackout of news about the coup right now.

  2. And since ghn is so concerned about a "free and democratic press," here's some data from Reporters Without Borders. Their Press Freedom Index over the last four years places Honduras as follows (higher scores are worse):

    2005 (year before Zelaya became president) rank: 76th (score: 18)

    2006 rank: 62nd (score: 14.5)

    2007 rank: 87th (score: 25.5)

    2008 rank: 99th (score 21.5)

    So after a slight improvement in Zelaya's first year, things have gotten much worse. Is that all Zelaya's fault? Probably not. But it sure doesn't make him look any better, does it?

  3. It's always much easier living in a nation were the president doesn't need to make any demands of the media. Living in a nation were the president and media are both bought and paid for by the same corporate elite is so much less embarassing.

    Just like every other nation were we have stuck our nose in, it's time to butt out. Face the facts people we have no moral standing anywere! Electing a new stooge doesn't change a thing.


  4. Hey Matt, what's all this about the BBC? Do you americans really believe the BBC is fair and balanced, or even left-wing? If so, I have a great second-hand car to sell you. The BBC is state funded and broadcasts UK/US/Israeli government propaganda 24 hours a day.

    I would seriously recommend you visit this site to find out a little more about the British supposedly left-wing press, such as BBC, Guardian, Independent.

    If you knew anything about the media in Honduras, you would know that the channels Zelaya referred to are the very same that haven't informed about the coup. Those that tried to have been closed down and journalists beaten:
    "Reporters for The Associated Press were taken away in military vehicles" and ''One of the largest threats to Honduran democracy is the lack of independence of the Honduran media,'' according to the paper written by Manuel Orozco and Rebecca Rouse. “The media have failed to fulfill their social function as government watchdogs, are controlled by business and political interests and do not practice fair reporting practices.''"

    You don’t need to speak Spanish to “get” the gist of the video. (And if you understand just some Spanish, they speak very clearly and coherently.) Just watch the body language of the reporters describing the beatings they got and the positions the soldiers forced them into while they destroyed Honduras’ biggest radio chain Globo’s transmitter and took them off the air.
    When you defend or make apologies or excuses for this coup, you are enabling that level of violence and repression against media workers just like you.

    In fairness too, you should have informed your readers that the new Honduran dictator has withdrawn constitutional guarantees and, wait for it, called a “cadena nacional,” decreeing that all TV stations in the country should broadcast his second speech of the day live.

    You also stated in a previous piece that you have linked to above "I’m less interested in the specifics of the Honduras case". Yes and it shows. I also suggest you read this article:
    Why Zelaya's Actions Were Legal. It shows why specifics are vital.

    1. DailySketch: The only media outlet I consider “fair and balanced” is Fox News. But yes, what IS all this about the BBC? I merely made a snarky quip about them and quoted a report. You and ghn are the ones who think my post was all about the BBC. OK, fine, they’re part of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy to subvert the workers’ paradises of Latin America. And I’m sure their coverage of Israel is relevant here too, somehow. But I’ll ask you like I asked ghn: What parts of that BBC report are incorrect? I refer you to the Reporters Without Borders and Committee to Protect Journalists links I posted above.

      Also, just curious: since the U.S. and UK governments are both calling for Zelaya’s reinstatement, and the BBC “broadcasts UK/US/Israeli government propaganda 24 hours a day,” how’s that shaping the BBC’s current “propaganda”? I’d hate to be fooled again.

      You also stated in a previous piece that you have linked to above “I’m less interested in the specifics of the Honduras case”.

      Ah, the partial quotation. Nice trick. No, I said, “Just so there’s no confusion, I’m less interested in the specifics of the Honduras case than in the general issue of the ‘cult of the presidency.’” The Honduras case got me to thinking about broader questions, not all of which may be neatly answered by this specific incident. I never claimed they would be.

  5. BBC is garbage. It's like the Voice of America minus credibility. In case you didn't notice, that was sarcasm. :)

    So, some foreign dump broadcasts government propaganda 24/7, huh? I guess someone never had a chance to tune in to Fox News any time between 2001 and 2009.

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