The sewers of journalism: from the ‘crime syndicate’ to Ferreras

The sewers of journalism are not new, although the hoax about the tax havens of paul churches has caused them to give off a strong and putrid stench again. The most recent case could be included in the systematic attacks that Podemos has suffered since its birth. Some stayed in the press and others reached the courts. It mattered little that the complaints did not go beyond that, a simple and self-interested complaint, because the damage to the party’s image had already been done.

Now, some audios have revealed that the presenter and director of La Sexta, Anthony Garcia Ferreras, despite knowing that an alleged news published in Eduardo Inda’s newspaper was false, he decided to echo it. In the recordings of the conversation between the former commissioner Jose Manuel Villarejo and Ferreras, published by Free Chroniclethe latter tells him that he told the director of OKDaily: “Eduardo, this is very serious, I’m going with it, but this is very delicate and it’s too crude”.

The hoax of the (non-existent) bank account of Iglesias in Grenadines is the latest example of journalistic sewers in democracy, although if we go back in time we should remember the campaign launched by a group of journalists against Felipe González when he was President of the Government . The media hard core was made up of The world, ABC and the Cope. Among the distinguished members of the Association of Independent Writers and Journalists (AEPI), were the directors of the aforementioned newspapers, Pedro J. Ramírez and Luis María Anson, as well as the announcer Antonio Herrero.

The ‘crime syndicate’

In addition to them, there were more names (Antonio Burgos, Martín Ferrand, José Luis Gutiérrez, Jiménez Losantos and Julián Lago, among others), but the objective of all of them was to end the PSOE government. The attacks, then, came from all media fronts. And the fame they gained led them to be baptized by the socialists as the crime syndicate. Some of them, years later, recognized the existence of the plan to overthrow Philip Gonzalezalthough the most explicit was Anson, who in 1998 gave an interview to the magazine Weather in which he assured that to achieve the objective “the stability of the State was touched”.

“It was necessary to finish with Felipe González, that was the question. By raising the bar of criticism, it reached such an extreme that in many moments the stability of the State itself was touched. That is true. González was right when he denounced that danger. ., but it was the only way to get him out of there”, he confessed Anson to the journalist Santiago Belloch. “The culture of tension existed because there was no way to defeat González with other weapons,” added the former director of the ABCwho insisted that “criticism had to be raised to extremes that sometimes affected the State itself.”

The fear that the former president would revalidate his position in the 1996 elections, which led the Presidency to Jose Maria Aznar, are summed up in this lapidary phrase by Anson: “We are not leaving 40 years of Franco to enter 30 years of González.” In addition to those mentioned, according to various sources (in some cases those themselves interested in the fall of the socialist), José Luis Balbín, Antonio Burgos, Francisco Umbral, Camilo José Cela, Antonio Gala, Francisco Umbral and Antonio García were also part of the association. -Trevijano, who in those days dreamed of presiding over a Spanish republic.

The 11M attacks

Pedro J. Ramírez would once again star in another of the journalistic scandals since the end of the Franco regime. The details of it are well known: several jihadist attacks take place in Madrid on March 11, 2004, three days before the general elections. In the PP, the adviser and sociologist Peter Arriola comments: “If it was ETA, let’s sweep; if it was the Islamists, the PSOE wins.” Although there is no proof that it was the ETA members, the Prime Minister, José María Aznar (Mariano Rajoy was then the electoral candidate), Minister Ángel Acebes and the party attribute the authorship to ETA.

To that theory are added many means, including The world. In the newsrooms the telephones ring and political pressures increase. In the PP they are aware that, if it were made public that the attacks were the work of jihadists, it would take its toll at the polls, since Aznar had staged in the Azores, together with bush and blair, his support for the United States in the Iraq war. Even ETA denied its authorship, but the Government, the PP and some media outlets continued to stick to their guns. The elections gave victory to the socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

The world he did not get off his conspiracy theory and continued to feed it for years. The tragedy had had grotesque overtones, since a cassette found in a van was linked to the Basque business group Mondragón, when in fact it was a tape by the Mondragón Orchestra. It is just an example of nonsense and media malpractice. Time was passing and justice finally ruled in court that the perpetrators were jihadists who, inspired by Al Qaeda, attacked Madrid in revenge for Spain’s participation in the Iraq war. Nevertheless, Pedro J. Ramirez He was still in his thirteen and did not get off the car of speculation, hoaxes or false news.

Antonio Caño tried to prevent the PSOE-Podemos government

The latest journalistic controversy is recent. Last June, the protagonist himself revealed it on his Twitter account: “Four years ago we tried to avoid The country Sánchez’s pact with populists and separatists because we believed that this was bad for the left and for Spain. They didn’t believe us.” He was the former director of the Madrid newspaper Antonio Caño, whose confession was answered by some journalists who at that time were working The countrysince this plural alluded to professionals who did not see this “attempt” with good eyes (which, on the other hand, they were unaware of) nor did they agree with some news.

Antonio Cano He did not stop there, because after acknowledging his effort to avoid the pact, he continued to respond to some comments from tweeters such as Dimas Gragera (Citizens), who asked himself: “And why should a media outlet condition / avoid agreements between political forces? And If that was the goal, why not more media attention to Cs, who warned of this problem? Caño, who directed The country Between 2014 and 2018, he replied: “A medium does not condition anything, a medium pronounces on political events in the way it deems appropriate.”

A journalist also told him that “with these things you agree with Iglesias and his theory of the media right”, to which he replied: “Why? Newspapers have the right to hold an editorial position on political issues and They should rule on them.” Caño, who published the tweet just after the PSOE debacle in the Andalusian elections, did not get off the donkey, while Pablo Iglesias ironized on Twitter: “Anyone who says that newspapers and the media are political actors, overwhelmingly from the right, He is a Bolivarian communist friend of terrorists… Oh wait!

Criticism also came from PSOE politicians such as Odon Elorzadeputy and former mayor of Donostia, who asked him several questions on the aforementioned social network: “Was that an exercise in patriotism by the PRISA Council, an example of a lack of journalistic professionalism or the result of a strategy in agreement with the IBEX and the PP? Or was it a sum of everything? I stopped buying @el_pais until he left. Are there sewers in the Press?

The current Prime Minister, Pedro SanchezI had already warned in saved what would happen if the pact were reached: “There have been certain media outlets that have told me that if there had been an understanding between the PSOE and Podemos they would criticize it and go against it.” When Jordi Evole asks him to specify which ones, Sánchez replies: “They have not been conservative media, but supposedly progressive media.” The presenter insists and the socialist acknowledges that “The country It was one of them.”

Moreover, he affirms that the reason why the newspaper’s editorial line, which he describes as “abusive and even personally insulting”, has gone against him is to prevent “there could be an understanding between the two lefts”. Two years after Pedro Sánchez’s interview in savedon June 8, 2018 Antonio Caño was replaced, after turning the newspaper to the right, by Soledad Gallego-Díaz.


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