Wednesday, September 20, 2006

March 11th....The Song Remains The Same

The combined effort by the Partido Popular (PP), the COPE radio station, and El Mundo newspaper to convert the investigation of the 11th March bombings into the main political issue of the autumn continued yesterday with the PP presenting a motion in Parliament on the subject. The motion was rejected by all other parties with representation, who jointly approved an amendment which was passed easily with only the PP voting against.

Given that the conspiracy theorists have been predicting ground shaking revelations on the subject for the whole summer, the results so far must be a little disappointing even for them. A combination of allegations of ETA involvement by one of the accused, who has changed his testimony several times already, and another person who has entered into a commercial arrangement to publish a book on his allegations, have failed to produce any serious evidence that the attack was not carried out by those accused. The latest El Mundo exclusive is to tell us that evidence has been found that “other people”, not members of the group accused of the bombings, were present at some point in the rented house where it is said the group carried out their preparations for the attack. Most people will look at a story like this, shrug their shoulders and move on to something else. But a good conspiracy theorist knows that this story can only mean one thing – these other people would have to be members of ETA! Any more innocent explanation is discarded, presumably on the grounds of being too boring.

One other result of the decision by ABC and El País to break their silence over El Mundo’s campaign has been to put the spotlight on what many see as the commercial side of the operation. The pressure on ABC that is coming from El Mundo, the COPE and Libertad Digital is seen as an open attempt by these media groups to try and grab the loyalty of at least part of ABC’s natural constituency, the most conservative sections of the Spanish newspaper reading public. Whether this is the prelude to the launching of a new combined right-wing media group is still unclear, but alignment with one side or the other inside the PP currently seems to match with those who are either for or against the promotion of the conspiracy theories.

Related Links:

The Right Divides
The Temperature Starts To Rise
El Mundo Goes Backpacking
El Mundo And Their Experts
Playing With Dynamite
Faulty Connections

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