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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obama forgets about Honduras, NPR doesn't notice

I shouldn't talk. I think this is my first post on the coup that removed democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya from office in Honduras three months ago. So I'm not a great one to be criticizing news coverage of the coup.

But today I did find the time to listen to National Public Radio coverage of the UN speech given by President Obama. One would think Honduras is a major topic for the UN, since most member states have condemned the coups. In fact it is if you consider this week's events--Zelaya has re-entered the country, taking up residence at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa amid a loud mass protest and accompanying police repression. Brazil has called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council, and Brazillian President Lula da Silva today at the UN--just prior to the speech by President Obama--said,
Lula: The international community demands that Mr Zelaya immediately return to the presidency of his country and must be alert to ensure the inviolability of Brazil's diplomatic mission in the capital of Honduras.
So, you'd think NPR could mention Honduras in its special coverage of the speech, and at least notice afterward that President Obama had zero, zip, nada to say about Honduras himself!! But, no, nothing on NPR special coverage.

Morning Edition did today carry this report, Deposed Honduran President Holed Up In Embassy, by Jason Beaubien. But the silence of the President is made all the more deafening by its lack of notice at NPR.

Update: HERE is a biting critique of Beaubien's reporting. NPR continues to peddle the distortion that "final straw" of Zelaya's actions while in office "was that he was attempting to put together a referendum that would have allowed him or someone else to run for president for a second term."

Monday, March 09, 2009

I find it curious that almost without exception mainstream reporting on Mexico is exclusively a drug war story and never about the generally collapsing Mexican economy along with its oil resources. It's like they haven't even noticed the oil angle. It's all about militarizing the border. For example, THIS is just out,

In Mexico's drug wars, fears of a U.S. front
Violence that has killed thousands is beginning to cross border, officials say
By Alex Johnson
Reporter | msnbc.com | updated 1 hour, 30 minutes ago
With U.S. forces fighting two wars abroad, the nation's top military officer made an important visit last week to forestall a third. He went to Mexico. ...
Excellent commentary and analysis that fills in some of the gaps may be found in a new post at The Oil Drum:

Mexico: A Collapse Update
Posted by jeffvail on March 8, 2009 - 11:59am
It's been difficult to read a paper or watch the news recently without hearing about the growing troubles in Mexico. The US military?s Joint Forces Command issued their Joint Operating Environment 2008 report recently that listed Mexico and Pakistan as the most likely states to collapse in the immediate future (PDF, see p.35 for analysis of Mexico). Even 60 minutes ran a segment about the rising drug violence.

Of course, readers are probably already aware that a root cause of the problems in Mexico is the precipitous decline of Mexican oil production and an even faster decline in the level of oil exports. Add to that declining remittance incomes being sent home by migrant workers in America, declining tourist revenues, and lower revenue per barrel of oil exported, and the Mexican state is experiencing a severe financial crunch. ...