Monday, December 01, 2008

Barefoot In The Taj

I'm not sure whether being given a copy of El Mundo counts as an advantage of flying with Iberia, but at least you don't have to pay for it. Today's edition carried a pearl of a column by Federico Jiménez Losantos in which he took the left and Catalan nationalists to task for criticising Esperanza Aguirre's extremely hasty exit from Mumbai last week; leaving behind virtually all of her delegation. Losantos went so far as to declare that Aguirre had behaved in a dignified way.

There are several words that come to mind to describe Espe's return to Madrid, but dignified isn't one of them. Theatrical and ridiculous are on the list. So spontaneous was her appearance before the press that her entire regional government and part of her party's national leadership had somehow found time to attend the event. Never one to let a camera or a microphone pass without making some sort of statement, she was so keen to sieze the moment that she didn't even bother to change clothes between landing and appearing at the press conference. Clearly she had decided that her odd and slightly comical appearance would help to add more dramatic effect to the story she had to tell.

That Losantos and El Mundo should be so loyal to Aguirre is hardly surprising and is not just a question of ideolgical affinity, as was made clear by a court decision that also came at the end of last week. This ruling declared that all the digital TV licences awarded by Aguirre's administration a few years ago were illegal. Given the fuss that the El Mundo/Libertad Digital axis had been making about Cataluña's recent decisions on media concessions, it might seem surprising that they have no comment on Madrid's methodology. Of course Madrid doesn't bother with setting up commissions to govern the awarding of media licences, there's no need for such formalities. Nor is there any need to publish the criteria on which the decision is based. Plurality of opinion is fully respected by ensuring that all of those who pledge their political loyalty to the Condesa get their share of the pie. So El Mundo, Libertad Digital and other right wing media groups were all handsomely rewarded, without any of them necessarily meeting the criteria for receiving a franchise.

The same edition of El Mundo carried another revealing story about a planned meeting between Alberto Ruiz Gallardón and the Pope. The meeting was all set to go ahead until Gallardón let it be known that he was going to raise the subject of Losantos and the Church owned Cope radio station that the ranting one works for. All of a sudden the Church in Spain decided that such a meeting was no longer desirable and it was abruptly cancelled. El Mundo thinks this was a good idea, after all if the Pope was to hear about what his organisation gets up to then he might lose interest in the job.


Anonymous said...

Grame, Grame, Grame. Your expectation of El Mundo show an innocence about how Spanish politics works.
Anybody who from El Mundo who tries to publish anything positive about PSOE is fired; anyone who tries to publish anything pro-PSOE is fired; anyone who tries to publish anything not 100% anti-PSOE is fired.
Even if the PSOE launches a campaign which is supported by the EU, Amnisty International, Greenpeace, Gordon Brown (RIP), Obama, Bono and the rest of them, El Mundo will spit on them.

Tom said...

@David - I think you're misunderestimating Graeme somewhat. Even if we all know that El Mundo lies, it's worth pointing out the biggest lies we spot, rather than let them get away with it.

This woman.... she actually kind of terrifies me.

Graeme said...

Misunderestimated. They don't make words like that anymore. I see Aguirre is planning now to celebrate a special mass to give thanks for her miraculous escape. This could become an annual event - a replica of one of Santa Espe de Mumbai´s feet could be visited by selected devout pilgrims from the Nuevas Generaciones. When not being used in ceremonies, the foot would normally be kept inside a specially designed airline sock - a holy sock.

Troy said...

Imagine this scenario. Espe becomes head of the PP and wins the next election. She forms her own dream team. Pedro J leaves his duties at El Mundo and becomes the head of her new Ministry of Information. Aznar is demothballed and is named Minister of Defense. Rouco is given the reigns of the Ministry of Education and Losantos as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Makes the awful terrorist attacks in Mumbai look like a walk in the park, doesn't it?

Graeme said...

As if things weren't already scary enough, you had to go and raise the bar. No government job for Pio Moa?