4/05/2005

Distorted reporting on Nicaragua

From FAIR:
As the Bush administration carries out what the New York Times (4/5/05) describes as a "concerted effort" to block the return of the left-wing Sandinista party to power in Nicaragua, U.S. media are returning to the kind of distorted reporting on Nicaragua that characterized coverage during Washington's war against that country in the 1980s. The New York Times' April 5 article on the administration's anti-Sandinista campaign provides a prime example of this one-sided and inaccurate media treatment. The article, by Ginger Thompson, characterized the U.S. attempt to overthrow the Sandinista government as part of "the global struggle against Communism"--though Nicaragua under the Sandinistas had a mixed economy, multiple opposition parties and a very active opposition press. She refers to Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista president of Nicaragua, as a "revolutionary strongman," even though he was elected to the presidency in 1984 with 67 percent of the vote, in balloting that international observers found to be "free, fair and hotly contested". The piece does not quote any Sandinistas, but it does repeatedly quote an anonymous "senior State Department official" who makes unsubstantiated charges about Ortega and the Sandinistas. New York Times policy supposedly discourages the use of anonymous sources.

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