Friday, April 14, 2006

For Ramonet the End Justifies the Means

The spin doctor and his old buddie the dictator. What's good for them is bad for the rest.

Ignacio Ramonet is a left wing intellectual fond of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. He made his reputation by criticizing mainstream media for manipulating news. His ideas are not particularly original but he is a good writer and has a legion of followers from the Anti-globalization camps.

Ramonet´s upcoming book “Fidel Castro: A Two-Voiced Biography”, is expected to become a best-seller, but a Spanish blogger may ruin its prospects. Arcadi Spada demonstrated that the text is doctored.

The book is being advertised as a rarity; one of only five books product of one-on-one conversations with Castro. However Spada realized that some fragments published by Spanish newspaper El Pais, were just reproductions of old speeches and documents, “a cut-and-paste operation”. That is a typical example of manipulation of news for ideological purposes. Ramonet did exactly what he criticizes mainstream media for.

This is not the first time Ramonet is caught experimenting with the ethical limits of journalism. Let’s quote a story by the Miami Herald:

“In 2002, Ramonet was involved in another flap when an article he purportedly wrote criticizing Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez appeared in a Caracas newspaper. Ramonet first denied writing the article and blasted the paper for publishing it without verifying it with him.

He later admitted writing it to illustrate the unreliability of the Venezuelan media, which had been highly critical of Chávez.”

I suppose the end justifies the means for Ramonet.


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