The New York Times gets it wrong again…after all I’ve written about spin, diversion, and just plain sloppy reporting on Fast and Furious, New York Times reporter Ginger Thompson lands on page A1 with a claim that DEA agents are ‘walking’ narco-dollars into Mexico and back to the cartels the same way ATF, we now know, has been ‘walking’ lethal, military-grade weapons across the US-Mexico border into the hands of cartel killers.
US Drug Agents Launder Profits for Mexican Cartels isn’t true or fair or even journalism.
What it is, instead, is public relations, a business that, unlike old-fashioned reporting, is safe, simple, and sure to enhance the bottomline for all concerned–corporate owners, editors, and reporters. PR is the new news, the art of pitching client-friendly narratives by pinning them to the general assumptions and fact set of the audience. The New York Times is not the first to go, nor will it be the last.
The point is–it’s working.
Ginger Thompson and the New York Times do us a disservice, not just because they play to our concern for the 40,000 men, women and children already lost to political corruption and criminal greed, but because they portray the commitment of the American people to the rule of law as naïve, misplaced, and unattainable.
Indeed, what the reporter suggests (Is this her aim or just bad research?) is that US law enforcement has proved it is unable to make a difference, that federal agents are bunglers or miscreants, and that, if we aren’t careful, the ‘good guys’ sent in to solve the problem may instead become the worst part of it.
Back up, Ginger. The only kind of money laundering investigations DEA is allowed to conduct today are the kind designed “‘never to embarrass the government of Mexico,” which means US enforcement’s “war against drugs” is, at best, only a skirmish…