viernes, marzo 30, 2007

Los medios aman a Al Gore


Se acerca la hora de que Chile se llene de Al Gore. El ex vicepresidente de los Estados Unidos, el ambientalista y el ganador del Oscar. Todos estarán por algunas horas en el país para decir lo mismo que dijo en su premiado documental. Pero por más dinero. Será interesante ver el comportamiento de la prensa Chilena desde el momento en que político demócrata pise losa nacional. En general los medios nacionales corren al mismo ritmo de la opinión pública (¿Así debe ser?) y si Al Gore es el hombre del momento, como lo fue Ricardo Lagos en los dos últimos años de mandato, los diarios y la televisión deberán archivar las críticas, las dudas y los cuestionamientos. Lagos no fue el único que vivió la bipolaridad de la mayor parte de la prensa chilena. Los ejemplos son muchos. Este artículo de Salon.com intenta explicar el porqué las figuras públicas pueden modificar tan radicalmente la percepción de los medios de comunicación. Sin duda Al Gore es un tipo que está dando una pelea que muchos políticos prefieren postergar, pero su grotesco gasto en energía apenas fue cubierto y menos recordado luego de la investigación. Un vocero del ex vicepresidente "explicó" lo que todo el mundo quería escuchar. Al Gore hoy es casi intocable, todos lo quieren porque es el antónimo de Bush. Pero la pregunta es si los medios deben querer tanto como quieren las audiencias.

Por Joe Conason
http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2007/
As a man who long endured more than his share of nasty, unwarranted abuse from journalists, the philosophical Al Gore must be amused by the happy transformation of his clippings. The same press corps that once snarled for his blood is now smooching his boots -- an implicit apology that might be gratifying to the former future president, if only he were still naive enough to value their esteem.

The sudden fashion for favorable comment won't influence any thoughtful American's opinion of Gore, but it should remind us of the dismal media performance that did such a terrible disservice to him and to the nation. Although Gore himself certainly deserves a measure of blame for the catastrophic conclusion of the 2000 presidential election and the events that led up to it, his hateful treatment by the press slanted the campaign against him from the beginning. (Perhaps only Ralph Nader is more culpable for the irreparable harms of the Bush era, but that is an arguable proposition.)

Had the recent adoration of Gore been accompanied by any sign of healthy introspection among those who once savaged him, there might be reason to hope that they've learned something from this extraordinarily costly lesson. But as usual, mainstream commentators prefer to write as if they suffer from severe amnesia (as well as database deprivation) -- and to pretend that everyone else does, too.

Consider Maureen Dowd, a perceptive and often witty columnist who understands very well how destructive the Bush presidency has been to her beloved country. Just the other day Dowd acknowledged in the New York Times that we and the world would be in considerably better shape today had Gore -- whom she described as "prescient on climate change, the Internet, terrorism and Iraq" -- ascended to the Oval Office instead of the current occupant. But she neither noted the guilt of the media in that travesty nor recalled her own starring role. This compilation of her past columns on the subject of Gore, replete with false accusations and trendy sneering, is must reading.

Particularly catty and revealing is a quote from a 1999 column in which she suggested that Gore's environmentalism raised questions about his masculinity. But that was simply one episode among dozens that continued well after the 2000 election cycle. When the former vice president dared to voice his anger about the bloody debacle in Iraq two years ago, the Times columnist sweetly lumped him in with "the wackadoo wing of the Democratic Party." He had to be nuts to be upset about the lies that led us into war, didn't he?

Dowd was not alone, of course; she merely reflected the conventional idiocy of the times (and the Times), along with many, many others. A similar syndrome can be found in the writings of Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, for example, and there are literally hundreds of other examples that can be dredged up from the archives of the Daily Howler, which debunked the Gore-bashing canards in real time and is still taking no prisoners. Even the New Yorker magazine, where the current editors have tried to give Gore his due for years now, used to publish awful junk about him. Obviously it isn't responsible for the 1994 profile of Gore by Peter Boyer, for instance, which was then recycled into perverse mainstream coverage, but the echoing effects of bad journalism can last for decades.

2 Comentarios:

Blogger Simply Me dijo...

Si los periodistas en general ya aman a Gore –qué enamoradizos que somos-, ¿cabe alguna duda de cómo lo tratarán El Mercurio y Chilevisión, si organizan el seminario del 11 de mayo?

De seguro la forestación que pretende hacer en nuestro país para compensar las emisiones de CO2 de su estadía tendrá una considerable cobertura, mezclada con un dejo de nostalgia. Y todo por las ¿seis? Horas que el casi-presidente de EE.UU. estará aquí.

En cuanto a la volatilidad del amor/odio de los periodistas, supongo que cualquier personaje de la esfera pública está conciente –o debería estarlo, por su salud mental- de que se expone a una especie de circo romano, en el cual el pulgar hacia arriba o hacia abajo es algo meramente circunstancial. Si no, que le pregunten al mismísimo Gore, quien –en plena campaña presidencial- sufrió acusaciones y burlas de parte de la prensa. Hasta se rieron de que su asesora de imagen –irónicamente, una feminista- le aconsejara adoptar una actitud más tipo “macho alfa”. Con esas "defensoras de los derechos de las mujeres", ¿quién necesita a los machistas para conservar la actitud que profesan?

Saludos,
Andrea P.

10:26 p. m.  
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