Mexico Electoral Fraud ‘in the Dust of History’ at NYT

Veteran independent Mexico reporter John Ross (CounterPunch.com, 6/28/09) wants to know which countries come to mind when thinking about “a stolen election by an entrenched regime,” “demands for a recount to which election officials respond by offering to recount just 10 percent of the vote,” or even “a regime-controlled media that exalts the incumbent’s victory and demonizes the loser”? Are you thinking “Iran 2009? Yes!” or “Mexico 2006? Yes and no.”

Toward showing that “the stealing of the Mexican presidential election by the right-wing oligarchy stirred little indignation anywhere outside of Mexico,” Ross finds that “a comparison of coverage extended to both instances of electoral fraud by the New York Times, the ‘paper of record’, is instructive”:

NYT coverage of the upheaval in Iran has been overwhelming. During the first nine days of the electoral crisis, the Times ran at least one front-page story daily–from Election Day Friday, June 12 through Saturday, June 20, the Iranian electoral sham occupied the right-hand column (the lead story) in the international edition on eight out of nine days. The Times also ran a second Iran story on the front page in six out of the nine editions reviewed–on four of those days, the stories were accompanied by a four and sometimes five column color photo….

The Times sent four by-lined reporters into Tehran for the festivities–Robert Worth, Michael Slackman, Neil MacFarquhar and the Iranian Nazna Pathi, plus Eric Schmidt reporting from Washington. Bill Keller, the New York Times executive editor, flew to the Iranian capital to pen a daily journal.

As for the contested Mexican election: “The Times ran a front-page curtain raiser on election eve, but not in the right-hand column” and “a second front-pager July 3 just above the fold.” Ross points out that “unlike the New York Times coverage from Tehran, news of the enormous gathering ran inside,” even as “mobilizations were expanding exponentially to 2 million participants (police reports) by July 30, the largest outpourings of political protest in Mexican history.”

In sum, Ross writes of how “the brand of corporate journalism that the New York Times practices distorts such stories as Iranian resistance to electoral fraud and leaves Mexico 2006, in which millions took to the streets to defy the fraudulent election of a U.S. proxy, in the dust of history.” Listen to FAIR’s radio program CounterSpin: “Chuck Collins on Mexican Election” (8/11/06).