It’s almost impossible to keep up with all the blood splattered corruption coming out of Colombia every day, but lord knows we try. In the last few days alone, we learned that just about every ministry in President Alvaro Uribe’s cabinet has been infiltrated by right-wing death squad leaders, that he only got re-elected by bribing Congressmen to amend the constitution, and that even the U.S. Congress is finally expressing outrage that his government is “indirectly encouraging attacks against labor leaders by allowing a presidential adviser to link the victims to leftist rebels.”
So what luck that in the middle of all these revelations, The Washington Post’s heiress/editor-princess Lally Weymouth was granted an exclusive interview with Uribe! What an opportunity to probe the depths of the depravity of Bush’s best BFF! What a chance to ask the tough questions! Or not:
Q. Haven't you stuck your neck out to be a good U.S. ally in the war on terrorism and the war on drugs?
Q. Try to explain to the American people how important the Free Trade Agreement is to your country -- what it means in terms of growth and how damaging it would be to you, who have been a strong U.S. ally, if the agreement is rejected.
Q. You put so much on the line for an ally, and Washington doesn't come through for you?
Now that’s journalism! Now in her defense, Lally is more of a celebrity interviewer rather than a news reporter, so maybe it’s just her shtick to conduct cloying puffy-puff interviews rather than trying to get a story. Of course, her interviews with other Latin American leaders have been a slightly tougher:
Last October, in a sit down with Ecuador’s Rafael Correa she questioned his economic plan, with probers like:
Q. Why wouldn't it be smarter to attract foreign capital instead of using up public savings?
Comes off sort of cocky doesn’t it? Did I mention that Correa is a Harvard trained*
economist? And like the President of a country? Two years earlier, she really got down in the dirt with Hugo Chavez with lots of befuddled questions
Q: Experts in Washington claim you are encouraging radical groups throughout Latin America — that you're helping the FARC in Colombia, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Shafik Handal and the FMLN in El Salvador, and Evo Morales and the MAS in Bolivia.
Yes, Lally. Elected Presidents Ortega and Morales are “radical groups.” Note to other “media families.” This kind of crap is what happens when you just give your kid a newspaper company.
* Update: Raf isn't Harvard educated. He got his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Whatever. We mildly regret the error just like we mildly resent the FIVE THOUSAND READERS who have pointed this out.