Sunday, January 21, 2007

Conflicted Coverage on the Conflict in Bolivia

On Saturday's Weekend Edition Julie McCarthy reports from Bolivia. The substance of the report is pretty good. She interviews Morales supporters and opponents and talks to Jim Schultz of the Democracy Center in Cochabamba (how refreshing!). But as all broadcasters know, the opening of a report (like the lead in a newspaper story) is what sticks in a listener's mind. Here is how NPR frames it.

Steve Inskeep introduces McCarthy's piece with, "but a year on, partisan rancor over the direction of the country has deeply divided Bolivians, and there is growing concern that Morales’ style of governing may be fueling that division."

McCarthy then begins the piece with, "Evo Morales rose to prominence as a master of confrontational politics; critics say he’s practicing them as President and cite recent events...."

Listening to this you would assume that the problem lies with Morales, a view eerily similiar to the January 11th propaganda of our criminal Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte: "Democracy is most at risk in Venezuela and Bolivia. In both countries, the elected presidents, Chavez and Morales, are taking advantage of their popularity to undercut the opposition and eliminate checks on their authority."

I'd recommend that if your time is limited, take a look at the blog of Jim Schultz (who is interviewed by McCarthy). You'll get a much more nuanced and complex coverage of the conflict in Bolivia.


Anonymous said...

Schultz is with the 'Democracy Center'. I believe the 'Center for Democracy' may be the group that funded the electoral challenge to Chavez,and bought all those cute orange scarves in Ukraine. This is starting to sound like a 'Monty Python' script.

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