September 18, 2009

Another example of manipulative US news

Five Honduran presidential candidates
with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias

What you read in English from the Associated Press (AP):
Honduran candidates support deal to return Zelaya
By MARIANELA JIMENEZ, Associated Press Writer
Wed Sep 16, 9:48 pm ET

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Four presidential candidates pledged Wednesday to support a proposed deal that would restore the ousted Honduran leader to power.

The candidates released their statement after meeting with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, the chief mediator in the conflict who has warned that the Nov. 29 elections would have no credibility unless Manuel Zelaya returns to power beforehand.

That was really shocking for those of here in Honduras who hear the candidates on the news every day! It is only by reading the whole article that you find, that no, actually, the candidates did quite the opposite. Four of the serious candidates did not support the return of Zelaya. The fifth, a pro-Zelaya candidate refused to sign the document at all and the sixth, a pro-constitutional assembly candidate, boycotted the meeting.

The article goes on to say that Zelaya has said he would accept the Arias plan, conveniently not reporting Zelaya's Independence Day speech broadcast on Tuesday in which he said that he will continue with the constitutional assembly (a violation of the Arias agreement) and will put all of
golpistas in prison for the rest of their lives (another violation of the Arias agreement), among various other threats and wild promises of benefits to supporters which violate the spirit of the San José Accord.

Further on in the article, in direct contradiction to the article title, it states:
The statement did not directly mention Zelaya. At a news conference, the four candidates evaded questions about whether they supported his return to office.
How many people don't have enough interest in Honduras to read the entire long article and instead form an opinion based on the title? When it comes to Honduras, I imagine that is a pretty big percentage. I also imagine that is what the writers are counting on.

This Associated Press article was repeated in major newspapers, including the
NY Times and the Miami Herald. A Google search for the inaccurate AP headline yielded 62,000 results.


What we read in Spanish (titles translated) here in Honduras:

El Heraldo:
Candidates do not accept restitution of Zelaya

La Prensa:
Support mediation, but not return of Zelaya

La Tribuna: We made it clear that we do not want Mel to return to Honduras

Proceso Digital:
Presidential Candidates don't support the return of Zelaya

Hondudiario, Honduras: No restitution of ex-president Zelaya, reiterated presidential candidates

El Tiempo: This pro-Zelaya newspaper included two articles (
here and here) which indicated, as the other articles did, that only one candidate, Cesár Ham, UD, supported the return of Zelaya, and he refused to sign the agreement specifically for that reason.

There are many who like to discredit the Honduran media as being in a grand conspiracy to misinform the Honduran public. After spending so much time reading US media articles on Honduras, I find that the Honduran newspapers are no more biased than the US media, and in fact, are much more accurate when it comes to reporting on Honduras. After all, they are here, not in New York, Los Angeles, or London.

Television news interviews with the candidates in person confirmed that the Honduran articles were true, and the Associated Press title was false. One candidate specifically disputed the AP article, calling it 'manipulated news' [Google translation].


Here is
the agreement that the four candidates signed [Google translation]. It does not even mention Zelaya or indicate in any way that the candidates will support his return. It also specifically mentions ".... ensuring full respect for the Constitution and our laws" which is the key point of disagreement that the Honduras government has stated since the very beginning of this imposed, so-called "mediated" Accord.

In any case, should an "agreement" signed under duress of threats to the candidates of being the pariah of the western hemisphere be held valid?
One of the candidates frankly said that he was not happy with Oscar Arias' threats of perpetual international isolation. How can this imposition directly from the US State Department and OAS be called mediation?

So you tell me, who is getting manipulated false news?

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