Where “Fake News” Demonization of Media Leads…
In Ecuador, former President Rafael Correa, briefly made famous by John Oliver for his long, rambling, self-indulgent “TV Saturday” shows, was a Trump-esque hater of a free & independent press.
Correa pushed through cruel & idiotic press restriction laws, aimed at covering up his looting of the country’s treasury, and his odious personal habits (baseline is the casual groping & insulting of women that we know and hate in Trump, and it escalates from there).
Basically, Correa was Trump writ small, getting to do all the sick criminal shit that Trump longs to do. What does this mean?
Millions of dollars in fines have been issued to media and journalists for different reasons such as failure to report on an issue that the entity considered to be of “public interest” or for having “unbalanced” coverage.
Thus, for example, Supercom opened an investigation against four media outlets for failing to report on the honorary doctorate that Correa received from a Chilean university during a visit to that country.
“Officials found increasingly creative interpretations of the Ecuadoran legal structure to turn against journalists,” CPJ said. “After El Universo published a photo of a political candidate at an event with his children, Supercom sanctioned the newspaper for violating the rights of children by involving them in politics, and imposed a $3,000 fine.”
And when he couldn’t sue them out of existence, Correa just seized media outlets that dared to report the truth about him:
CPJ also highlighted how Correa had managed to put a significant number of media outlets under government control: five TV channels (two of them confiscated from their owners), four radio stations, two newspapers and four magazines. When he began his first term in 2007, he had only one radio station under his control.