By KELIN DILLON
During his daily press conference on the morning of Wednesday, July 14, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) presented the second iteration of his new “Who’s Who of Media Lies of the Week” segment, continuing his tirade against news publications and media outlets which don’t speak in direct favor of him.
This week, López Obrador reiterated his commitment to the segment, claiming that there is a “bombardment of lies” spurred on by the alleged “open campaign” against him and his party, the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena), by Mexico’s media. He likewise claimed that these same publications, including the internationally regarded Reforma, El Financiero, and El Universal, all have benefitted from “juicy contracts” with previous administrations.
AMLO also claimed that young people were “vulnerable” to be taken advantage of by the media, and encouraged them to “not be manipulated” by what he claims are lies.
“It is fundamental that we all help inform young people, because they are very defenseless,” said López Obrador. “Now with the confinement due to the pandemic, they were very exposed to toxic contents, and that is the formation of the new generations.”
During the press conference, head of the new section Ana Elizabeth García Vilchis said the segment acts in no way as a censorship of the media, despite vocal dispute from critics on the matter.
“Here, criticism is not questioned or dissent censored. We dedicate ourselves to dismantling the lies that are spread,” said García Vilchis. “Here, journalists and media are not stigmatized. If some of the allegations made are imprecise or require some clarification, we will be willing to acknowledge it.”
Controversy has arisen over García Vilchis’ current post at the National Palace, since the head of Wednesday’s “fake news” report does not appear on any of the government’s official public payrolls, leading to questions surrounding the segment’s own transparency.