Saturday, May 21, 2005

Love, Mugabe style

The front page of today's New York Times featured a story on Zimbabwe, complete with a large feature photo above the fold of police controlling what might turn into a food riot. One cop is shown with a raised whip. This sort of flies in the face that the Mugabe regime claiming that it has liberated the population from something akin to slavery.

Titled "Zimbabwe, Long Destitute, Teeters Toward Ruin" (by Michael Wines) does a few subtle things. It hasn't been destitute that long. The item ENTIRELY fails to mention the dictator Robert Mugabe's rapacious cronyism, and the cleptocracy of his Idi Amin-like land redistribution scheme. The sham has concentrated power into fewer hand, and into those more interested in political power than productively producing food.
Wines only mentions Migabe ONCE, mentioning the drop in the value of the Zimbabwe Dollar and the mass printing of currency, saying:

«It may have helped [the scarcity]: President Robert G. Mugabe's ZANU-PF, was installed for another five years. But Zimbabwe's Potemkin prosperity has evaporated since the the elections, replaced by penury and mounting signs of economic collapse»

Shame on the NYT. The data on currency might be current, but the story is far from new, and the causes are no mystery. The causes of the collapse are not the "collapse of the chain of industry" that he cites, they are an effect of it.

Is this the press that many are defending for their expertise and sophistication?

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