The recent fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor Mcgregor? Please. This year’s Superclásicos? Don’t make me laugh.
Many in Argentina were hyperventilating this afternoon after local journalist Ángel de Brito announced on his show that the televised event of the year had finally been confirmed: former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had accepted doing an interview with journalist and Debo Decir host Luis Novaresio.
Those so-called “television events” have nothing against the number of people who will probably tune in to watch Cristina’s live performance as she answers questions from an Argentine journalist that are not along the lines of “why are you so awesome?”
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— LAM (@LosAngeles_ok) September 1, 2017
So far there are no other details than the ones that De Brito mentioned in that tweet. Neither Cristina nor Novaresio have confirmed it will happen, although he did send out a cryptic tweet yesterday saying that he is “producing the interview that you are all guessing.” And considering the former President’s aversion to the mainstream media, that’s already quite an accomplishment in itself.
The closest we’ve been to watching an actual sit-down interview with Cristina was back in 2015 and it didn’t even involve an Argentine journalist. It was actually Dexter Filkins from The New Yorker, who was working on a long feature piece about the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, found dead in his apartment four days after accusing her and other high-ranking officials from her administration of covering up Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center.
Filkins didn’t hold back when describing her. He said that “over time, Kirchner had grown more dictatorial and, according to muckraking reports, more corrupt,” highlighting that, “In confidential cables released by WikiLeaks, American diplomats had noted Kirchner’s ‘aggressive demeanor’ and her apparent obsession with her looks.”
However, the then-President also managed to get back at him a bit: She published the complete video interview they did at the Olivos presidential residence a day before he published the article.
Besides that rare interview, there are no other similar cases in which the former President decided to meet face-to-face with potential criticism. During the better part of her two administrations, she avoided most media outlets that she saw as non-loyal to her government. As mentioned, she only granted a small number of interviews to national outlets friendly to her such as C5N and international media groups, notably a joint interview — which took place after she stepped down from office — to Al Jazeera, Russian Outlet Sputnik News, Venezuelan Telesur and Mexican Diario Jornada.
During her last years in office, Fernández resorted to national broadcasts — known as Cadenas Nacionales — to make public remarks. It was an effective way of bypassing the mainstream media and inconvenient questions.
To the despair of journalists covering her statements and people who wanted to watch their telenovelas (the Cadena Nacional is broadcast on all major networks around the country) she went to the extent of using it 44 times in 41 weeks in 2015.
Cristina remained hostile to the media even after leaving office, including this year during her Senatorial campaign for the midterms’ primaries. However, her more-than-narrow victory over Cambiemos’ candidate Esteban Bullrich seems to have forced her to change her strategy: Stop speaking only to her base and come out to capture new votes, or risk losing October’s elections and consequently any chance of contesting the presidency in 2019.
During the last few days there were rumors that she would accept being interviewed by TV talk show host Susana Giménez. However, Giménez herself said she wouldn’t do it hours later, justifying her decision by saying she has been extremely critical of the former President in the past. “It would be like betraying my principles,” she said.
De ninguna manera voy a recibir a la ex presidenta CFK seria como traicionar mis principios y mis ideas
— Susana Gimenez (@Su_Gimenez) August 30, 2017
Today, De Brito assured an interview with Novaresio will happen. This would be a historic event for Argentine politics since many have been waiting for this to happen for a long time and are more than eager to watch the former President answer questions from a political journalist, and Novaresio is one of the most prestigious professionals in the country.
#Debodecir q estamos produciendo la entrevista que todos suponen
— luis novaresio (@luisnovaresio) August 30, 2017
In what perhaps was a hint that the interview will happen, the journalist yesterday said what he would like to ask the former President in an interview with Big Bang News.
“I would like to question her on personal affairs, on her role in government, and ask her take on current affairs. I’d like her to explain how a person who was always a public official, because it hasn’t been proven that she was a ‘successful lawyer’ [as she claims to be], can be a multi millionaire like she is,” he said.
We’ll be on our toes, waiting for both parties’ confirmation.
Viewing party, anyone?