Tuesday, July 07, 2009
On the July 6 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, correspondent Ines Ferré advanced the conservative claim that President Obama is siding with Latin American leaders in opposing the June 28 ousting of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. Ferré uncritically reported that Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) "says that in joining Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, the U.S. is quote 'serving as an echo chamber ... not helpful to our political, economic, or security interests in the region.' " Earlier in her report, Ferré stated that "one of Zelaya's biggest supporters is Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez." But at no point did she point out that the European Union and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon have also condemned the ouster.
As Media Matters for America has documented, several media conservatives, including Fox News contributors Charles Krauthammer and Bill Kristol, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Mary Anastasia O'Grady, and Internet gossip Matt Drudge, have advanced the claim that Obama is siding with Chavez and the leadership of Cuba without noting that the European Union has also condemned Zelaya's ouster. The Hill similarly advanced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's (R-GA) claim that "the obama administration has joined castro and chavez" in opposing Zelaya's removal from office.
On June 28, Obama released the following statement on the situation in Honduras:
I am deeply concerned by reports coming out of Honduras regarding the detention and expulsion of President Mel Zelaya. As the Organization of American States [OAS] did on Friday, I call on all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Any existing tensions and disputes must be resolved peacefully through dialogue free from any outside interference....(Remainder.)