Let’s Compare Notes: Oaxaca Protests

Maybe the heat is making me cranky, but NPR’s All Things Considered got me pretty miffed today with their story on the take over of Oaxaca’s public TV station by militant teachers and their supporters.

Normally, I would be excited to here a report on Mexican protests. I don’t know, maybe it was the fact that it came right after a report on Venezuela’s economic support for Cuba, which sounded like it had been written by the Miami Cuban community. Maybe it was because the drama of the event was made tedious by their decision to interview the editor of the Oaxaca Times–an English language newspaper that seems to cater to tourists. Maybe it was the “golly gee wiz” tone of the NPR anchor–“you mean these women took the studio workers hostage?” You could almost hear her suppressing the next question–“doesn’t that make them terrorists?” Who are these crazy people? The Oaxaca Times editor struggled to explain: they are the mothers of students in the public schools. Silence, no follow up question…

Or maybe it was because I had just read a much better, much more gripping and insightful report on an independent media web site, the Narco News Bulletin.

I don’t expect NPR to have a radical political line, but maybe a little less of the studied “gee-wiz-ism.” (Don’t even get me started on Susan Stamburg).

I had to turn the radio off and mutter under my breath for a few minutes while I washed the dishes. If these events were happening in Eastern Europe, we would be getting a very different story. But Mexico, to quote Porfirio Diaz, is so far from God and so close to the United States. No chance of getting fair reporting out of the mainstream press here.

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