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Disassociated Press

10 October 2009

I guess Associated Press is going into the propaganda business.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Honduras’ interim leaders put in place new rules Saturday that threaten broadcasters with closure for airing reports that “attack national security,” further restricting media freedom following the closure of two opposition stations.

The latest decree is sure to anger supporters of ousted President Manuel Zelaya and appears to be a challenge to the Organization of American States and a team of regional diplomats who were in the country Thursday to push for a resolution of the crisis.

Under the decree imposed by the government of interim President Roberto Micheletti, “the frequencies of radio or television stations may be canceled if they transmit messages that incite national hate and the destruction of public property.”

Officials can monitor and control broadcast messages that “attack national security,” according to the decree…

I guess what the AP is saying it isn’t a supporter of Manuel Zelaya (which is fine), but not seeing this as a challenge to freedom of the press in general (including the part that considers itself “Associated” ).  Already, the Micheletti regime has made a mockery of the alleged restoration of civil rights (they carted away an entire television station and destroyed the equipment… then said, “oh, never mind.. you can APPLY to reopen if you want) and closed down Radio Globo.  There was international outrage when, after the bloody attempted coup in Venezuela in 2002, the network that had encouraged the coup (to the point of urging the assassination of the president) had its station transmitter permit denied when it came up for renewal (and it is still broadcasting as a cable station), which is an entirely different set of circumstances.

What constitutes attacks on national security is, of course, up to the guys with the guns, whichAssociated Press sees as only a problem for the Organization of American States and “supporters of Manuel Zelaya”, and not anyone who expects news reports…. like, oh… readers of AP wire reports.

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