Argentina’s government has imprisoned economists for publishing fallacious inflation numbers, but now it will force the break up of a major media company—for the sake of free speech. The Clarin conglomerate, Argentina’s biggest independent media group, has been critical of Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, but that’s beside the point. Clarin has brazenly violated Kirchner’s 2009 anti-monopoly bill by amassing too many viewers and listeners, stifling what one government regulator called Argentina’s hallowed “plurality of voices and freedom of speech.” In the name of free society, a plan to break up Clarin has been approved.
And if you believe any of that, we have some Argentine government securities we can sell you at a very attractive price. The BBC reports:
TV, radio and other Clarin licences are to be redistributed in six months.
Critics call it an attempt to silence dissident voices in the country but supporters say it will boost pluralism and reduce the power of big companies. […]
Plans to reduce the size of other media companies are still being examined, even though they were presented a year ago.
Let us be the first to echo Clarin’s own prediction: the other media companies who end up on the chopping block will likely be those who are critical of the shambolic government running Argentina into the ground.
Hugo Chávez might be applauding Kirchner from beyond the grave, but it’s Latin America’s new Pacific Alliance that really gets giddy with every foolish step Kirchner and her comrades take. For Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia, wresting power from the Bolivarian states is all too easy: just sit back and watch them implode.