December 10, 2013
Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling in favour of the Broadcasting Law was obviously celebrated by the government and (almost as obviously) those who applaud the law’s text but criticize the government’s implementation of it and its approach to the media in general. Yet just as obviously the ruling was criticized by those aligned with the Clarín Group who picked on aspects like the timing or the ruling being allegedly abstracted from reality. Without probing exactly who will be implementing the law — an AFSCA media watchdog missing one opposition representative and whose current head seems to lack the impartiality requested by the Supreme Court. Or various loopholes or legal twilight zones in public communications. None of which formed part of Clarín’s case against the Broadcasting Law, challenging it as unconstitutional.
Given that the new law grants the opposition representation in various organisms of control, their response perhaps warrants analysis.
Starting with the most strident voice — Elisa Carrió. Even if her alarmism does not deserve the dignity of a mention, her remarkable electoral success last Sunday has encouraged her to revive her threat to impeach Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricardo Lorenzetti and Justice Raúl Eugenio Zaffaroni. In her frenzy Carrió lashed out at various UNEN coalition allies just three days after the election, accusing them of cowardice or worse. Impeaching the Supreme Court for a ruling not to her taste is a curiously authoritarian reaction from somebody who claims all the time (not always without grounds) that “the Republic is jeopardized.” Which raises the question of how the re-elected deputy would react to adverse court rulings should she ever reach the Pink House.
Yet Carrió has a certain consistency missing in some of the targets of her criticisms such as her Socialist partners headed by Hermes Binner, who duly voted for the Broadcasting Law in 2009 but are now uttering contradictory opinions within the same day. Also consistent (as well as more discreet and strategic than Carrió) is the rejection of the text by City Mayor Mauricio Macri’s PRO centre-right party, if their neo-conservative premises of aversion to interventionism are accepted. Although their idea of a special municipal media forum is doomed to inexorable failure — serving little other purpose than to gain Clarín a few more weeks respite.