A prominent journalist has written an open letter to the federal government’s fake news debunker, warning her that she’s destroying her future and urging her to change course.
Ana Elizabeth García Vilchis has been presenting the “Who’s who in the lies of the week” segment at President López Obrador’s Wednesday morning press conference since the middle of last year.
Azucena Uresti, a television and radio presenter who García has accused of propagating fake news, published a letter to the government spokeswoman on the website Opinión 51 on Tuesday.
“I don’t know you. I heard about you in June last year when the awful section you lead every Wednesday was created,” the letter starts.
“… I just know that you’re 32, you were the web coordinator at a news site and you studied social anthropology at the Puebla Autonomous University,” Uresti wrote.
“… Why am I writing you these lines? Firstly because of my unsuccessful attempts to set up a journalistic interview with you; secondly because you have referred to me with lies from the National Palace; and thirdly and most importantly because I believe – and hopefully I’m wrong – that you’re destroying your future,” she wrote.
Uresti told García that she was writing not to defend herself but to offer advice as if she were her friend, sister or mother.
“… Every week that I see you there standing in front of everyone at the National Palace, reading a script that isn’t yours, I feel sad,” she wrote.
“… You don’t take ownership of the script either because you stutter, overact, sweat [and] your voice trembles. And that tells me that deep down you don’t feel comfortable with what you’re doing. Those who promised you that you would be the defender of the truth lied to you; those who promised to catapult your political career … lied to you,” Uresti said.
She acknowledged that journalism has its faults but asserted that all journalism “must be free and branding critical journalists as traitors or coup plotters is an attack against that freedom.”
“… You’re too young to mark your professional future in this way and to each week be the target of such brutal violence while the men who write what you read hide behind the president,” Uresti wrote, apparently referring to online abuse.
“You have time to change course, to fight your own battles and not become a single-use cartridge, to remember that their adversaries are not necessarily yours,” she said.
“Say what you believe and have researched, defend the government in which you have placed your trust but don’t allow yourself to be an instrument of politics or revenge. Be free and let it be your choice that determines your path. With female solidarity, Azucena Uresti.”
A day after the letter was published, García took aim at the journalist in her weekly appearance at the National Palace, asserting that she had made a false claim about the governor of Veracruz on Twitter.
She concluded her remarks with a “reflection” on the segment she has been presenting for the past six months.
“This section was begun to provide a service to the public, to bring to light and refute the fake news that involves the federal government. Neither media outlets nor journalists are stigmatized here, we only cite lies and expose the replicators of falsehoods. If media outlets and names of journalists appear it’s for didactic purposes, it’s not anything personal,” García said.
“There is a clear campaign of disinformation to undermine the projects and works that this government is carrying out. … But even though they defend hidden economic or political interests or simply have bad faith, time will put everyone in their place.”
Mexico News Daily