Alpine Summit

Monday, March 20, 2006

Mexico: "America is an Exploiter"

The Mexicans; you know those people who can't seem to stay out of our country legally, the people whose government makes pamphlets on how to illegally cross our border, say that America is better off than other countries because we exploit them.

Seventy percent of Americans said the U.S. is wealthier because there is plenty of opportunity and work available in the United States, but 62 percent of Mexicans said the U.S. is wealthier because it exploits others, the Zogy Poll said.

This is exactly the liberal viewpoint that if someone has more or is better off than someone else, they MUST have done something to unfairly get ahead. Speaking of exploiting others, I wonder if they think Mexico is exploiting the U.S. in the same way they think we are exploiting other countries? I'm guessing not.

My theory is that the media in Mexico paints a dark picture of America for the benefit of its government. Apparently the media in Mexico is constantly afraid of how the current administration will react to critical news about them.

Although nominally independent, the news media are subject to a variety of mainly indirect economic and political pressures from the government. The Secretariat of Communi-cations and Transport supervises the news media, granting publishing and broadcast licenses and ensuring adherence to the media laws. Successive PRI governments have influenced the news media by paying individual journalists for favorable coverage, by restricting access to newsprint and ink (the state monopolizes the production of both, although this control was somewhat reduced under President Salinas), by withholding information from critical journalists, and especially by granting or withholding government advertising, an important source of revenue for the press. Many newspapers accept government payments for the insertion of official announcements disguised as editorials. Occasionally, the government provides indirect financial inducements to particular journalists (for example, by offering them part of the payment for official advertising run by their newspapers). Some journalists and opposition political parties have accused the government of trying to conceal the extent of official subsidies to journalists by redirecting payoffs through the PRI's Office of Information.

As a result, the people who read this media take these biased reports as objective facts and then form the opinion that America is bad. Indeed, it would seem Mexican media lives in constant fear of whoever is in power. They apparently haven't quite got the "freedom of press" part of the example we laid out (and what they're trying to follow) just yet.

Also, isn't it odd that in America the media issue is when the White House grants press passes to bloggers, while the Mexican problem is that they simply revoke press licenses to anyone they don't like?