Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Manipulative Dossier / Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado

The Manipulative Dossier / Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado
Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado, Translator: Adam Cooper

In Cuba we have six television channels, but at 8 p.m. our options
narrow, because the national news (the primetime program) is broadcast
repeatedly on three of them (channels 4, 6, and 27), we are treated to
sports news on channel 2, on channel 21 they show a documentary (the
ones during that half hour are generally less interesting), and on
channel 15 they rebroadcast (they never show it live) the "friendly"
news show from TeleSur. Our satellite newscaster "informs" us how well
things work in Cuba in contrast to other countries, mainly capitalist,
of the world. He tells us of the abundance of products in the markets,
"satisfied consumers" are interviewed, and the magnanimity of our
government is sugarcoated daily. So in the face of such "marvels" I am
quick as a hare with the remote control, surfing through channels and
looking around in the scraps of programming for topics which I expect
won't make me nauseous.

There is a journalist on the TeleSur program who wears an eye patch in
the old style of buccaneers and pirates. They say he lost that eye in a
helicopter accident during a mission. His image strikes me as somewhat
grotesque, because I think that his warlike nature and the blackened
eye-socket which highlights it are part of a well-modeled image of the
militant journalist committed to a 21st century socialism without manual
or program, who bases his raison d'être on the perpetuity of the power
of the strongmen and on the fight against the "Empire of the United
States". I have to give credit to this man, the anchor of "Dossier",
which opens and closes with a catch-phrase, saying that it broadcasts
"from our beloved, contaminated, and only (here he raises an index
finger) spaceship", referring to Earth. I credit him and his production
team, because it seems that they are getting their signal out to various
corners of the Milky Way. That feeling leaves me every time he uses that
unnecessary sentence to refer to his location. It wouldn't surprise me
if on the same program we found another host wearing a surgical mask
because he had a decaying smile or was missing his teeth. It would
simply be yet another eccentricity.

TeleSur, with its headquarters in Caracas, and which counts on financing
from Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba, among others, is
transitioning on its journalistic path toward the "Cuban disinformation
style", evidence of the protective and consultative role of the largest
of the Antilles in that Latin American media outlet with international
distribution. It is an echo discordant with democracy and anachronistic
in a particularly fashion to repeat the formulas of this long-lived,
mature, and failed sociopolitical and economic experiment, and to adapt
them to a project which claims to promote regional integration in
societies where, despite the influence of our Antillean archipelago,
plurality still survives. What would be fairer with respect to the
realities of our brethren to the south is the exercise of objective,
impartial, and truthful journalism in which there is no need, as there
is in Cuba, for recourse to the "censorship patch" or the "surgical gag"
to violate their people's rights and deceive them with disinformation
and manipulation.

Translated by: Adam Cooper

December 20 2011

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