As Mexicans go to the polls this weekend, the media is not only covering the presidential campaign story – they have become a part of it. The country’s largest TV network, Televisa, is accused of accepting cash in return for giving Enrique Pena Nieto, the candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), favourable media coverage dating back to 2005. Both parties deny the allegations. But a student protest movement called YoSoy132 is not buying it and has been protesting what it calls biased media coverage. In this week’s News Divide, we look at the media scandal at the heart of the Mexican elections.
This week News Bytes: Anti-Assad forces storm the headquarters of a pro-government TV channel, killing seven people; The New York Times is forced to defend itself against allegations that it is partly to blame for the death of one of its reporters, Anthony Shadid; a militant group attacks a TV station in Pakistan for what it calls ‘peddling the government’s views’ and Rupert Murdoch is to split News Corporation in two – the biggest restructure the company has seen in 30 years.
Hollywood and the Pentagon propaganda push
The military entertainment complex is an old phenomenon that binds Hollywood with the US military. Known as militainment, it serves both parties well. Filmmakers get access to high tech weaponry - helicopters, jet planes and air craft carriers while the Pentagon gets free and positive publicity.
The latest offering to come from this relationship is Act of Valor and it takes the collaboration one step further. The producers get more than just equipment – they have cast active-duty military personnel in the lead roles, prompting critics to say the lines have become so blurred that it is hard to see where Hollywood ends and Pentagon propaganda begins. In this week’s feature, the Listening Post’s Nic Muirhead looks at the ties between the US military and Hollywood.
Out internet video of the week: No election campaign would be complete without a low budget video taking the candidates to task. Mexico is no exception. Music producer Carlos Chavira has taken a hit from across the US border, Bruno Mars’ Lazy Day, and given it a political twist. The track called Pena Nieto: Just a Puppet puts him through the mill and sings a catchy tune at the same time. We hope you enjoy the show.
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