Camejo a "leading candidate" for the LA Times, an unperson for the NY Times and CNN

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at bellsouth.net
Fri Aug 8 22:51:29 MDT 2003


Walter's posting of the LA Times bio of Camejo as a "leading candidate"
piqued my curiosity enough to spend a couple of hours and check with a
few people I know in the journalism biz on the coverage of his campaign.

If you do a Google News search for Camejo, you'll see that his candidacy
is being mentioned in all sorts of outlets; however, a closer look will
shows it is one repeat after another of the same AP story that barely
mentions he is running, and that last fall's boycott of the Latino
candidate continues.

(For an analysis of that, see "The press blackout against Camejo" which
is here:
http://www.mail-archive.com/marxism%40lists.panix.com/msg38163.html)

If you do an advanced Google news search, and specify outlets, you'll
see that the New York Times has managed to avoid mentioning Camejo even
once; and that cnn.com has only one mention (in an AP story that somehow
must have slipped in through the cracks). A separate search through
CNN's own search engine failed to bring up any articles that even
mentioned Camejo and his campaign in the recall elections. An
examination of 29 reports on the California recall elections by on-air
correspondents and analysts fails to turn up Camejo or even a no-name
mention of a Green Party candidate.

By comparison, there were no fewer than 8 different reports or analysis
on Schwarzenegger's candidacy in a day and a half done by correspondents
or commentators, which were replayed countless times throughout the CNN
networks. This does not include the hours CNN has spent pumping up his
image in anchor "reads" and unscripted chit-chats that make up the bulk
of the CNN domestic network's coverage. And there are 19 "hits" on
Google News just for cnn.com articles from the past two days that
mention Schwarzenegger, most of them focusing on his candidacy and
depicting him not just favorably, but as the front runner. (By
comparison, the same Google News search for the New York Times turned up
just three articles.)

The Reuters news service, one of the two main wire services relied on by
newspapers, radio and TV stations has had no articles on Camejo that
Google News found. Using the Reuters.com site's own search engine also
turned up no hits.

The Associated Press has run a quite a few of stories that mention
Camejo. There has even been a story focused around his filing. 

That is because unlike Reuters, the AP also operates state wires; a
failure to include Camejo in the coverage would have been untenable in
California. However, Camejo is only briefly mentioned in the stories
that ran in the national wire; the more extensive write-up done when he
filed went only to subscribers of the California wire service.

Unlike Reuters, the AP does not have its own web site where its own
reporting is easily accessible, so this information about its coverage
comes from journalists with access to wire service feeds, not from
Google News. But an examination of a general Google News search for
Camejo shows that, overwhelmingly, the coverage he has received outside
California are all just a couple of AP stories.

As I explained in last fall's post, the national press blackout on
Camejo reflects the hostility to motion towards independent political
action by working people. Thus it is quite noticeable that even when
many other newspapers nationwide have carried at least a mention of
Camejo in an AP dispatch this last week, the most conscious ruling class
organs, such as the New York Times and CNN, are the most systematic ones
in keeping him completely out.

But it is also true that the dismissive attitude towards Camejo's
campaign is profoundly racist. A significant part of why the media won't
cover him has little to do with who he is or what he stands for, but
rather with what he is -- a Latino, one of those people "invading" "our"
country. 

Ironically, both Schwarzenegger and Arianna Huffington will get a lot
more respect from the press than Peter. As (needless to say, white)
immigrants from Europe, they are true representatives of "Americanism."

To get an idea of what different worlds we live in, you can Google Peter
Camejo as a Spanish-language search only, and be showered with nearly
300 results. If you find the one from La Opinón, which is California's
biggest Spanish-language daily, click on more results from
laopinion.com., and you'll find fifty MORE hits, around ten from the
last month or two and dozens from the last one, in addition to those
already presented. A couple of other Spanish-language web sites also
have "click for more" links.

José







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