Donald Trump: Colombian Opinion Leaders Analyze The Interruption To Speech – Cinema And Tv – Culture

World journalism shook on the night of Thursday, November 5. In an unprecedented event, the main television networks in the United States left President Donald Trump speechless and without an audience; they took it off the air without warning and without asking permission. They did the same thing that Twitter has done with its ‘fake news’: silence it live and direct.

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The violent speech in which the tycoon accused the Democrats of cheating with “illegal votes” was seen by most media, including his great ally, Fox News, as a terrible and dangerous lie for democracy. The fraud of which he accused Biden’s team lacked evidence and the media acted against his words so as not to magnify his message. “Lie,” they explained. And they cut the transmission.


Taking it off the air was, for many, an unprecedented act of bravery; for others it was an act of censorship against the president of the most powerful nation on the planet. CNN didn’t cut him, but once he finished his speech, his analysts said essentially the same thing: he lies. What is the analysis made by some of the most important directors and media analysts in Colombia? Would they have done it? Here are your answers. (You might be interested in: Take this quiz and confirm if you are an expert on James Bond movies)

Gustavo Gómez, director of ‘6 AM Hoy por Hoy’ by Caracol Radio

There is no media or journalist that has the obligation to allow an official to say whatever he wants. It is valid to stop issuing a statement because it is not informative, because it is long and tedious or because it lacks news substance. But cutting it off because it is considered that the testimony is riddled with falsehoods or inaccuracies brings us closer to complex scenarios.

Do we start cutting radio interviews when we consider that the interviewee is lying? Do we remove from the screen a person who, we believe, is not true? Do we refuse to interview whom we assume is not going to tell us what we believe is correct? After the first witch is burned and the first heretic is dismembered, who sets the rules and limits? Who makes the official lists of what is right and what is forbidden? Who defines what freedom of expression is and when it is necessary to muzzle it?

I would not cut off a president when he speaks at a momentous moment: I would listen to him and then take it upon myself to present verifiable facts that would show the public that he is lying, if that is the case. And here lying is almost the first requirement demanded by politics.

After the first witch is burned and the first heretic is dismembered, who sets the rules and limits? Who makes the official lists of what is right and what is forbidden?

Juan Roberto Vargas, director of ‘Noticias Caracol’

It seemed to me a difficult and hot decision and of unprecedented courage in the history of world journalism. I think that at the end of the road, what prevails is the editorial position. If what is being broadcast is a presidential address, I believe that by law it cannot be cut.

But if it is the media that, at its own risk and expense, transmits a public statement from a president or any other senior official, that same media outlet has the power to decide when to cut it and more so if it considers that it should do so because editorially it finds that what the speaker is saying is a lie or is inappropriate, whatever the Head of State is doing.

Another thing, and another way of assuming an editorial position, is to do an interview with a president in which he questions whether what he is saying is “cart” or if he is exceeding his functions, as we have asked him in ‘News Caracol ‘to President Duque.

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Enrique Santos Calderón, former director of EL TIEMPO

It seemed like a wrong decision, with a taste of censorship. “Worse than a crime, a stupidity”, Fouche would say. As che ater and as awful as Trump is, he is the President of the United States, who received 70 million votes. Everything you do or say must be reported and, if applicable, refuted. Cutting a presidential address as some networks did – CNN did not, for example – seems to me to be an ill-advised journalistic decision not without arrogance. The liar always falls and it is the duty of the media to point out the lies, not hide them. I would have transmitted it in full, noticing at the same time, or immediately after, where he was lying. If a president lies, does he report?

Yolanda Ruiz, director of RCN Radio News

I have been asked a lot what my decision would have been. First I say that context is everything to make a decision and I do not know all the information that colleagues have who have been closely covering the elections and the Trump administration. Nor do I believe in magic formulas to apply in all cases.

Even so, after many hours of thinking and doubting, with what is known and in the precise circumstances of the electoral uncertainty, I think I would have stopped Trump’s intervention because it was important news that society should know. Then he would have made an editorial statement underlining the seriousness of the events given that the president had not presented evidence to affirm that there was fraud.

Néstor Morales, director of Blu Radio

I don’t like censorship and I don’t like it even when it is exercised in the name of certain values. Censorship opens a very dangerous door, because it ends up hurting and one as a journalist is also paid to hear those who think differently, not just those who agree.

I think the exercise of journalism is also an exercise in tolerance, and Donald Trump got more than 70 million votes. That must be respected, as well as his political movement.

What was done against a right-wing president was the same thing that Hugo Chávez did 15 years ago in his country with the media, which closed them down.

I wouldn’t have cut it, which is not to say that I meekly accept Trump’s lies. What we journalists have to do is give precise and exact information on whether the votes are valid or not.

Yamid Amat, Director of CM &

I was surprised by the reaction of the television channels. I was surprised by the reaction of journalists, because in the United States opinion – it has been clearly seen in this debate – is handled more by the owners than by the journalists themselves. Even though in the case of Fox, the journalist had the same reaction as his colleagues, but I don’t think there has been any prior agreement to cut off the president.

I wouldn’t have done that. Better, he would have asked President Trump to show the evidence. “Show the evidence” is what everyone is saying, what are they? Because accusing gratuitously is not due and cannot be done. And it seems to me that the decision to cut it on the air is, to say the least, disrespectful.

At the end of the day, he is the President of the Republic, what should have been done, in my opinion, is to ask the President to expose the evidence he has to launch such an accusation.

Ricardo Trotti, executive director of the Inter-American Press Association

It is a blunder for the chains to turn off a public person, even if they consider that he is lying. The role of the press is not to judge or prejudge, they have to inform and they can think that they are lying, but it is good that the public has all the information to generate their opinion and make their decision. If the press does this with the President of the United States, you might think that it does it with other people.

It seems to me that the press was arrogant in acting as a judge. I think they are trying to use the yardstick by which fake news in general is measured. I believe that when the press considers that a public person or a president is lying, their duty is to show that lie, not to extinguish it. The press is there to create public conversation.

Cecilia Orozco, director of ‘Noticias Uno’

The fact that several networks and print media had made the same decision to interrupt the statements of President Donald Trump indicates that somehow they had to have a prior reflection and consultation between them.
In an act that, in my opinion, was of responsibility to the country above the President to probably prevent the situation of public order from getting out of hand.

The statements of the most powerful people in the world or in countries are not allowed to be irresponsible or impunity. In a similar case, I would have agreed with that decision. It does not seem to me that this case can be assimilated to censorship, where by definition the censored is always the weakest, not the strongest.

On Twitter: @CulturaET



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