Thursday, May 6, 2010

Knocking the Critics

Felipe Calderón again embraced his new role as national scold, this time knocking people who speak badly about the army. I pretty much summarized my thoughts on this sort of thing here, but it's also worth pointing out that specifically for the army, people would be more willing to cut the army some slack if it was more transparent and more willing to punish its own for misdeeds. Here's part of El Universal's editorial response:
The criticisms of President Felipe Calderón toward those who question the labors of the security agencies in the media appear in this category [of attacking people as traitors for legitimate criticisms]. For a while the president has shown his discomfort with journalists, he considers that they don't appreciate the effort and the achievements of his government in the fight against organized crime. Maybe he's right, but instead of resenting figures and arguments that pushes back against pessimistic visions, he opts to delegitimize the broadcasters.

We don't intend to criticize the president here for his criticism. In fact, the media outlets and professionals who work within them should also be subject to public scrutiny. Does the national press commit errors? Without a doubt. Just two days ago in this space we highlighter the need to question the correctness of what we do in newsrooms regarding information about mafias. Nevertheless, this is different because it denigrates journalists for the simple fact of criticizing the work of our security forces, because they also make mistakes and if no one points it out, they will continue doing so.

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