President Obama enjoys himself at the annual White House
Correspondents' Association Dinner on May 9. It's an event
to be envied for many of the world's journalists.
CLICK HERE OR CLICK PHOTO TO WATCH
El Universo, Ecuador
If Only Our
President Would Have Dinner with Reporters
I see Obama at his dinner with reporters, I wonder if we could start a similar tradition
- an event that would join the president and media in brotherhood and mutual
respect. But we shouldn't kid ourselves. With this government's lack of respect
for the work of the media, one can expect a notification of suspension before
an invitation to dinner."
By Manuel Ignacio Gómez Lecaro
Translated By Miguel
May 14, 2009
Ecuador - El Universo
- Original Article (Spanish)
I listen to Barack Obama at
the annual dinner with journalists who cover the White House. Obama quotes
Thomas Jefferson who said, "If I'm forced to choose between a government
without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I would not hesitate to choose
the latter." Obama says that this message is still alive: a government
without an active and critical media is not an option for the country.
Obama continued: "I may
not agree with everything you write or report. I may even complain from time to time about how
you do your jobs, but I do so with the knowledge that when you are at your
best, then you help me be at my best. You help all of us who serve at the
pleasure of the American people do our jobs better by holding us accountable,
by demanding honesty, by preventing us from taking shortcuts and falling into
easy political games that people are so desperately weary of."
acknowledges the work of the press, here, President Correa insults and
disparages it. The corrupt and mediocre llama [like calling him an ass] actually
asks people not to read newspapers or watch news. He fails to grasp that
without a free and critical press, democracy falters and a single vision prevails.
The vision of the government - or whatever it understands and aspires to.
I see Hugo Chávez on TV. He threatens to remove the concession of Globovision.
And what was the channel's terrible infraction? "Inciting panic and
anxiety among the population" by reporting news of an earthquake before the
authorities did. A ridiculous excuse with which Chávez seeks to silence independent
President Obama pokes fun at his own use of teleprompters
at the 2009 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner,
an event that reflects some of the greatest traditions of the
United States of America. CLICK HERE OR PHOTO TO WATCH
Our country is little
different. Abuses of press freedom are a feature of all authoritarian
governments. Conartel [Ecuador's national TV and radio
board] has decided to put Teleamazonas on trial.
And what was the channel's grave sin? To report and inform the public on what occurred
at a data center at the old Santa Isabel supermarket [a center for vote counting].
The board accused the channel of disseminating information based on assumptions
that could trigger social unrest.
This excuse is as ridiculous
as that of the Venezuelan tremor. Teleamazonas
simply reported and informed on the comings and goings of political actors at
the data center. These are facts, not assumptions. What each person says to the
camera is their responsibility. The channel was only fulfilling its job of reporting.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
determined that a violation has occurred, there could be a temporary suspension
or a definitive revocation of the channel's frequency. Oh, how the government
would like that! Chávez without Globovisión,
Correa without Teleamazonas. The last of the independent
media telling them things they don't want to hear!
When I see Obama at his
dinner with reporters, I wonder if it would be possible for us to start a
similar tradition in our country - an event that would join the president and media
in brotherhood and mutual respect. And here, too, our president would also
recognize the importance of the work of journalists and toast a free and
But we shouldn't kid ourselves.
With the lack of respect on the part of this government for the work of the
media, one can expect a notification of suspension before an invitation to
dinner. Such an event will have to wait for new governments that understand and
respect press freedom.
CLICK HERE FOR SPANISH VERSION
[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US May 14, 3:45am]