Friday, June 03, 2016

Michelle Bachelet and the Chilean Press

Michelle Bachelet is suing the magazine Qué Pasa for defamation. The case revolves around the magazine publishing the transcript of a conversation that included allegations against Bachelet with regard to the Caval Case. The editors had quickly removed those parts of the transcript. According to Qué Pasa, Bachelet wants the journalists and editors to get three years in prison and pay about $7 million.

This will have a chilling effect on Chilean journalism, which organizations like the Committee to Protect Journalists are pointing out. Presidents should not be going after journalists, and by doing so you put yourself into very bad company. Richard Nixon would be proud.

The case has already fostered popular ridicule, such as this video.


shah8 3:26 PM  

Man, I don't know. I wonder just how high a prestige the press has in Chile. I mean, I hold ours in deep contempt--a billion dollar, or more, of free advertising for Trump isn't ethical and has real world bad consequences. Then there are the antics of companies like Globo.

And Tronc. Never forget Tronc.

Greg Weeks 3:29 PM  

Well, I would say we want to allow the press to criticize the president no matter how much we hold them in contempt.

shah8 8:40 PM  

Well, my first comment was offhand...

but reading all the links and familiarizing with case...

In the current context of politically violent hypocrisy, I don't think that this particular episode or Que Pasa merits any protection from ideals. Particularly since it was indeed the paper's responsibility to not disclose the discussion involving Bechelet, and at the very least, a false light claim is valid, no matter how much the paper backtracked. If I were the typically ruthless politician--even if I knew if this was a genuine accident, I'd *HAVE* to go after the paper for the sake of appearances at the minimum.

And this sort of appeal to ideal bugs me, mostly because I've been in a long online conflict with people who thinks hate speech must have free speech protection, otherwise slippery slope! There just isn't a slippery slope here. This is an actual potentially legit case of defamation. Criticizing the prez has zero to do with this, unless there is evidence that this is retaliation for some earlier slight/criticism?

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