Monday, March 2, 2015

Iranian Media supporting Kirchner

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner insists that she and her late husband have not worked to cover up Iranian involvement in the AMIA bombing, and it appears as though she is supported by Iranian media outlets.

A few days ago there was a march in support of Kirchner in Buenos Aires, which received virtually no coverage in the English language international media (The local Buenos Aires Herald covered the march). There were a few exceptions including NDTV, SBS and Rappler, though the articles posted by these sites were exact copies of each other and appear to be based off this Yahoo News article. What was most striking in the international coverage (or lack thereof) is that both PressTV and Tasnim, relatively major Iranian media sites covered the rally.

PressTV initially claimed that tens of thousands of supporters of the president demonstrated before upgrading their estimate to 300 thousand demonstrators (despite the unfavorable weather). Tasnim concurred.

The Israeli site i24News briefly mentioned the march in an article, noting that the 'municipal police' stated that as many as 400,000 marchers participated, while 'federal police' claimed a mere 50,000.

A march of hundreds of thousands of people is newsworthy no matter the circumstances. The drama over the death of Alberto Nisman, and the shockingly inept mismanagement of the situation by the Argentine authorities increases the potential news value of the story. While other incidents including the assassination of Boris Nemstov may have momentarily distracted the international press, Buenos Aires is a massive city (one of the most populated metropolitan areas of the world), and any significant event *should* have been noticed?

How could there be so little coverage from major media outlets if this rally was in fact so large? The 18F silent march only a week and a half prior to this was covered extensively by major outlets. The Guardian's coverage mentions the same statements made by Kirchner, yet neglects to mention the rally. Why did the Iranian press make such a big deal about this march, and why did they claim such a high and specific turnout?

Maybe it is just a coincidence, but it looks to me like Iran is doing Kirchner a favor for her assistance in delaying/disturbing the AMIA investigation.

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