The New York Times, the Associated Press and Reuters have been gunning for Felipe Calderon, Mexico's rightist presidential candidate, with all the fervor of people with big things to protect. Declaring a winner even before Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute has certified the extremely close count (Calderon is said to have won by six-tenths of one percent, within the margin of error for a vote count of more than 41 million), the slurs against his opponent, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, just keep coming and coming. Obrador, who has committed the apparently cardinal sin of promising "to shift government spending toward welfare programs and public works," is calling his supporters to the streets today, in what the media seem intent on characterizing as a threat to democracy and public order:
Mr. López Obrador's decision to hold a rally on Saturday suggested that the leftist candidate would use huge street demonstrations to put public pressure on the court to grant his request. He has a history of using marches to protest what he has considered fraudulent elections that did not go his way. He also used large demonstrations to beat back an attempt to knock him off the ballot with a legal challenge last year.
And another AP story warns that "[t]he protests could mark a turning point in what has so far been a peaceful campaign to succeed Vicente Fox." Obrador is repeatedly described as a "leftist" while Calderon is "already looking presidential." Obrador has "refused to concede defeat," has "came in second," and is said to be using his "trump card" when he "appeals to the massesto help him overturn his narrow defeat."
None of the stories even bother to deny Obrador's claims of widespread election fraud, probably because anyone who knows anything about Mexican politics knows how likely it is, and also elide the fact that it is not to "the masses" to which he is requesting a recount, but the Federal Electoral Institute, which, again, has not declared a winner.
It bears repeating: as far as the government of Mexico is concerned, it does not yet have a new president, a fact deliberately and loudly ignored by the New York Times and the other news organizations hell bent on ensuring that Obrador returns to the bleeding-heart socialist ghetto from which he sprung.* * Always Read More at Times/WaPo Watch * *