Corporate media outlets blamed Nicaragua’s government for a deadly arson attack during the 2018 coup attempt, but new information raises serious doubts about the official story, highlighting the campaign of regime-change misinformation.
by John Perry
Part 7 - A pattern of misleading reporting
If the treatment by the international media of the Carlos Marx house fire were exceptional, it might not be so important that they overlooked basic facts in this case. But sadly this pattern was repeated in coverage of most of the worst incidents in last year’s violence in Nicaragua, including the murder of the journalist Ángel Gahona while he was broadcasting live in Bluefields (also covered by Goette-Luciak for The Guardian), and the murder of four police officers and a teacher in an armed attack in the small town of Morrito.
Hardly an incident occurred in which the main international media, including outlets like The Guardian who take pride in their independent journalism, based their reports on opposition accusations that crimes were committed by government supporters, when in fact the culprits were armed protesters.
Not only that, but The Guardian, in particular, has failed to address criticisms of its reporting, for example when it refused to publish a letter about its Nicaraguan coverage that had been signed by some 30 international commentators.
The same freelance reporters, Goette-Luciak and Houck, had earlier reported from Masaya for the Washington Post, where they also minimized opposition violence. They went on to produce a similarly unbalanced story for The Guardian on September 7, about an opposition-led strike. It was strongly criticized for its bias by former Amnesty International-recognized prisoner of conscience Camilo Mejia.
Later, in a surprising twist, Goette-Luciak was exposed by journalist and The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal as being far from politically neutral: He was actively working with anti-Ortega opposition groups. Blumenthal was in turn denounced by The Guardian, but they then failed to respond to a complaint sent to the newspaper by a friend of Goette-Luciak who had been directly involved in his anti-government activities, and who was able to substantiate Blumenthal’s arguments.