Friday, October 23, 2009

Script-Flipping at El Universal

El Universal continues its series on the drug trade on both sides of its northern border with a piece about Phoenix called, "Phoenix, kidnapping capital". Among other things, it tells us that the city has one reported kidnapping every day. (George Will of all people had an interesting take on Phoenix's crime earlier this year as well.) The existence of this series strikes me as more interesting than any specific thing I've read in it, and I can't quite figure out how I feel about it. It all comes across as a somewhat transparent attempt to turn the tables on the American media that are endlessly fascinated by Mexico's crime but basically ignore any systematic view of its own crime. Americans have no right to complain, and there is certainly news value in the US crime resulting from the same industry that tortures Mexico. Although I'm not sure pique is the best journalistic motivation.


jd said...

Here's the quote, from yesterday's editorial, where they lost me altogether:
"Con todo, es un buen comienzo que por fin de aquel lado tomen conciencia de la incoherente relación sostenida con nuestro país respecto de esta guerra. Sus policías, militares y autoridades civiles son tanto o más vulnerables que las mexicanas."

I mean, that's moving from pique to distemper...or worse, disingenuousness.

(Not that US law enforcement/military aren't plenty corrupt. But ours, as with our politicians, comes more from the LEGAL - or pseudo-legal - forms. DHS money for SUVs used for personal use, Pentagon contractors, and on and on. Still bad, but that's not what El Uni meant. Don't practice to deceive, Zepeda Patterson!)

pc said...

That last point is right on, about our pseudo-legal corruption. I have conversations about that here a lot, about the difference between wink-wink, legal but unethical stuff versus Duke Cunningham chicanery. The former is impossible to root out entirely and of course there's a lot of it in the US (as elsewhere), but the latter is actually pretty rare, at least compared to Mexico. And they aren't the same.

And as far as that editorial, that last line is a doozy. Regardless of the truth of it (and it seems like something that should be substantiated rather than just tossed out unsupported), it's just I know you are but what am I journalism.