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Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

Two Stories: One Narrative
Monday, July 11, 2022 @ 1:29 PM

Most of the media in Spain - understandably enough - is owned by large corporations who want to make money (the general rule being, that newspapers, radio and even TV tend to lose money). They also want to bring the public, their audience, around to a particular view. After all, what one loses on the swings, one can make back on the roundabouts. The politicians will be interested in helping them as for the quid pro quo. You bring us voters, mass-approval and the odd swinging door promotion and we'll sort out that vexing company tax issue that the lefties have been on about.

An article at The Corner disagrees with the accusation of media manipulation in Spain. ‘Discrediting is easy, it sounds good because it serves to justify oneself and blame others for one’s own mistakes. It is the easy road to social regression, to that malaise that demobilises and encourages irresponsibility’ it says.

So, in short, we should believe everything we read. 

Several TV chat shows have been found to be manipulating the truth about Irene Montero recently, nothing new there. The Minister of Equality Montero (Podemos) was asked about the events in Melilla the other day when at least 23 immigrants died while trying to cross the border from Morocco. Montero went on record saying it was a tragedy and insisted on an independent inquiry. 

Her words were carefully edited and the result was something truly different. Thus the chat shows of El Programa de Ana Rosa (Telecinco) – a sort of ‘Fox and Friends’, Espejo Público (Antena 3) and Más de Uno (Onda Cero Radio) were egregiously brutal against the minister. The video in question was tricked up – it says here – by a right-wing journalist and lawyer called Javier Gimeno Priede. 

A few days after the original broadcast, Ana Terradillos apologised on El Programa de Ana Rosa saying that they had failed to show the entire Montero interview. 

Known in the World of the Media as 'the old apology at the bottom of page nine'.

There are several commercial TV channels in Spain, plus the ones operated by the regional governments, plus, of course, the national RTVE. The regional ones, in both the news and the opinion 'tertulia' talking-head programs, are slanted according to the colour of the politicians in charge, as we know and give them the appropriate credit (The Andalusian Canal Sur, for example, gives us the news slanted to favour the Partido Popular, with a few nods towards Vox). The RTVE is more or less impartial, like the BBC, with representation from both the Government and the Opposition on the board of directors. 

Or, to put it another way - both sides complain about their lack of impartiality...

Which brings us to the commercial channels with their long pauses for adverts. They are of course supporters of the conservatives and are owned by large corporations (Silvio Berlusconi owns both El Cuatro and Telecinco) while Atresmedia (Antena3 and LaSexta) belongs to a combination of Planeta (they also own La Razón) and Bertelsmann. Wiki says that 'The merger of Antena3 with LaSexta (by means of the absorption of the latter) was formalised in October 2012. After the merger, LaSexta somewhat retained a perception of a left-leaning profile, starkly contrasting to those of the rest of Planeta media properties'.

More important than the example of the hostile editing of Irene Montero mentioned above is the cynical manipulation carried out by the previous government regarding Irene's husband Pablo Iglesias (he of the ponytail, since removed) and the party he started in 2014: Podemos, and - according to some newly unearthed secret recordings involving (apart from the usual suspects) - the director of LaSexta, Antonio García Ferreras, who is better known to viewers as a news-caster and who is generally considered to lean slightly to the left. 

Ferreras, Pablo Iglesias and Eduardo Inda


The recordings are between the master manipulator the ex-commissar José Manuel Villarejo in March 2017 (shortly before his arrest) and Ferreras, who essentially admits on tape that he knew at the time that the 'proofs' against Podemos were bogus, but he had run them on his show anyway. 

The tapes, discovered by Patricia López at Crónica Libre, show that Planeta - owner of LaSexta among other outlets - were happy to run the invented news of Eduardo Inda from OKDiario, knowing it to be false. The bogus story (shortly before the June 2016 general elections) was how the Venezuelan government had donated $272,000 to an offshore account run by Pablo Iglesias. It is, we read, '...the final confirmation that the largest Spanish communication group has conspired for years with members of the police, judges and sundry self-styled journalists to try to sink the credibility and political career of Pablo Iglesias'.

The campaign was certainly effective, as the difference between the December 2015 and June 2016 Spanish general election results for Podemos was from 65 to 45: a fall of twenty seats.

Between the media, the corporations and the judiciary (Podemos has been the accused party in any number of court-cases which were later archived), it's no surprise to read that the presidents of Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Chile have all spoken of the 'mediatic sewers' in Spain. 

Also critical of the media-manipulation in Spain, we find France's Jean-Luc Mélenchon who writes: "Scandal in Spain: the journalist of an important television program invented defamatory revelations about Podemos and Pablo Iglesias in connection with the (Rajoy Government) Ministry of the Interior". 

The leading fake-news provider, OKDiario (its director is the talking-head Eduardo Inda, who, oddly, often appears as a guest on Ferreras' show Al Rojo Vivo) naturally denies the whole story - based on his news-site's fabrication of illegal financing for Podemos via Venezuela, known, at least in right-wing circles - as PISA or 'Pablo Iglesias sociedad anónima', claiming that it is nothing more than an invention from the left-wing media to attempt to justify Podemos' fall in popularity. The story certainly cost Podemos many votes in the 2016 general election.

Ferreras on his Monday broadcast at Al Rojo Vivo denied the charges, 'we have never published news knowing it to be false', he says.


"I guarantee you, there is a war out there. There is a war between facts and slogans, there is a war between information and propaganda, there is a war between truth and lies". Thus, Javier Ruiz's farewell in June 2018 on the final broadcast of the program Las Mañanas de Cuatro.


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Goldilocks said:
Saturday, July 16, 2022 @ 1:00 PM

Wow, Lenox, thank you for all this. Not unsuspected but it's good to have some details. Much appreciated.

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