By now we’ve gotten used to the never ending quarreling between the Fernández de Kirchner administration and Grupo Clarín’s news network Todo Noticias (TN for short). They fight each other like an old married couple, often focusing on the anecdotal instead of pointing out the severe deficiencies that plague their core structures. Seeing Economy Minister Axel Kicillof not wearing a tie becomes the marriage equivalent of leaving the toilet seat up. TN is dismayed by it, and Kicillof couldn’t care less.
But as TN looks for new, original ways to destroy Cristina and save the republic from the evil clutches of faux-cialism, this week the network may have hit a new low.
We are all familiar with House of Cards, the hit show on Netflix starring Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, a power-hungry congressman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants and is even willing to commit murder to reach his goal. Argentina – or at least part of the country – is obsessed with it. So as soon as news of the Nisman murder/suicide mystery broke, it wasn’t hard for the twittersphere to find a few eery coincidences between the political thriller and the death of one of the most prominent prosecutors in the country.
TN decided to capitalize on that and feed the trolls while giving them exactly what they want, in a controversial move that seems inspired by the Fox News playbook and throws journalism ethics out the window because, whatever.
I know. Shocking, isn’t it?
Now, I must admit that the editing is pretty good. Technically, it’s brilliant. And while I’m not really sure what it’s for, it looks pretty. Considering that the Nisman death is all we talk about (and all they talk about), it’s not insane to just air an ad that pretty much sums up the intrigue and madness we’re witnessing every day.
However… What the fuck is that?!
Seriously, people. You’re supposed to be a serious cable news network. Is this comedy? Is this supposed to freak us all out and scream in horror because we’re being allegedly governed by a bunch of sleazy murderers? What?! I need to know.
First, it trivializes what is probably Argentina’s worst institutional crisis in recent years. I mean, not even we would pull such a move, and we’re pretty irreverent. It is true that this case is captivating but, come on guys, there has to be a limit for infotainment. Second, if there’s one thing we know is that we don’t know anything. Considering how many twists and turns this incredible story has, I would say it’s a bold move to air footage of Nisman saying there were people trying to kill him and, immediately after that, show you one of the most shocking scenes in the series in which, spoiler alert, Frank Underwood kills one of the show’s main characters.
In the end, I understand they’re just trying to give their audience what they want. Somewhere in there there’s a video editor patting himself on the back. But as long as the principle of presumption of innocence is upheld, I suggest we all calm the hell down until we know more about this.
The bad news is that it says “Episode 1”. I guess more of these are on the way.
(Video capture via @mis2centavos)