Grey Lady-Globo: “Kenyan Opposition Wins With 57% of the Vote!”

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Above: Citing the New York Times, Globo/G1 Brazil reports a (fairly overwhelming) victory for the Kenyan opposition candidate and refers to the incumbent in the past tense.

News organizations call one election result. The official results are otherwise. This freak occurrence is occurring with freakish frequency all over the world in the current decade, don’t you tend to find? See also

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“Exit polls give victory to Chávez in referendum”: The
Folha de S. Paulo front page on the day after. See also Chávez Defeat: “Could the Absence of a Plot Itself Be a Plot?”

Contagem de votos aponta vitória da oposição no Quênia

Vote count points to victory of Kenyan opposition

Raila Odinga, que faz campanha como defensor dos pobres, tem cerca de 57% dos votos.

Raila Odinga, running as defender of the poor, has nearly 57% of the votes.

Mwai Kibaki, atual governante, ficou conhecido por ter impulsionado a economia do país. Do New York Times

Incumbent Kibaki was known for driving the nation’s economy. From the New York Times (December 28).

Note how the sourcing of the principal hard fact in this story changes during its journey from Times Square to Globo Journalism Central there in Rio, in, where was it? Jacarepaguá?

A oposição parece estar à frente das eleições no Quênia com larga vantagem, de acordo com resultados preliminares divulgados na última sexta-feira (28), com um desafiante populista determinado a ocupar o lugar do atual presidente e diversos ministros importantes removidos de seus cargos.

The opposition appears to be in front in the Kenyan elections by a large margin, according to preliminary results published on Friday, with a defiant populist determined to take the place place of the incumbent president and various important ministers removed from their posts.

“Defiant populist”? See also

On the same day, the International News of Pakistan was reporting:

NAIROBI: Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki leads on Thursday’s presidential election with 47.3 per cent of the vote versus 42.8 for opposition leader Raila Odinga, according to an early exit poll by a local independent observer group. The Institute for Education in Democracy (IED), a respected non-governmental organisation, gave the early figures based on a sample of 271 polling stations out of a total 27,000. Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) was delighted. “We expect a much higher tally,” spokeswoman Ngari Gituku said. An Odinga aide dismissed the exit poll.

Respected by whom? The attribution of this sort of ethos-building Homeric epithet is often the first sign that you should start checking deep into the respectability of the respected NGO in question.

Especially when attributed by the free and impartial press in a military dictatorship where the Beloved Leader got 98% of the vote in the last “election.”

The Globo-Metrosexual Times report again:

De acordo com os resultados parciais divulgados pelas três estações de TV do Quênia, Raila Odinga, um executivo extravagante que faz campanha como defensor dos pobres, tem cerca de 57% dos votos, comparado a menos de 40% de Mwai Kibaki, o atual governante, conhecido por ter impulsionado a economia do Quênia e por favorecer sua própria tribo. Um fato mais significativo talvez seja o aumento do número de perdas entre os colaboradores mais próximos de Kibaki.

According to partial results aired by three Kenyan TV stations, Raila Odinga, an extravagant executive who is campaigning as a defender of the poor, has some 57% of the vote, compared to less than 40% for the incumbent, who is know for having driven economic growth in Kenya and favored his own tribe. The most signficant factor might be the growing number of losses among Kibaki’s closest allies.

Globo, in other words, cites the classic Larry Rohter-style “local press sources” as the source of the number.

Now, what did the New York Times run for domestic consumption, I wonder?

Its headline on December 29, bylined to Jeffrey Gettleman: With Half of Vote Counted, Opposition Poised to Sweep

With nearly half the vote counted late Friday night, the Kenyan election commission said Raila Odinga, a flamboyant politician and businessman campaigning as champion of the poor, held a sizable lead of 57 percent of the vote, compared with 39 percent for Mwai Kibaki, the incumbent president who is known for bolstering Kenya’s economy but favoring his own tribe.

Known by whom for bolstering? There is some evidence that the “economic miracle” under Kibaki was one of those “economic miracles” in which income disparity explodes. Kind of like the Brazilian “economic miracle” under the generalissimos, who were unable to keep massive kleptocracy from flourishing under cover of the state of exception.

And yes, the editorializing in the news hole — “a flamboyant politician and businessman campaigning as champion of the poor” — flows from the Grey Lady and not from the gabbling banana-republican Globo, from whom you have come to expect this sort of thing over the decades.

Perhaps even more telling, though, was the rising casualty count among Mr. Kibaki’s inner circle. The foreign minister, the defense minister, the information minister, the vice president and more than a dozen other politicians considered to be the nucleus of Kenya’s politico-economic establishment have lost their Parliament seats and therefore their influential jobs, the election commission confirmed Friday.

Is that still true?

Odinga is a former Kibaki minister himself.

It seems that the attacks by Mr. Odinga and his party, the Orange Democratic Movement, have found their mark. Kenya’s 14 million voters — who turned out in record numbers on Thursday, with many people waiting hours in lines that were miles long — seemed ready for change.

Or perhaps maybe not, possibily. Appearances can be deceiving. “Nay, lady, I know not seems.”

Again, the Globo version of the story — could it be a translation of some revised version of the Gettleman dispatch? — sources the hard number here (57% of the vote) in vague terms, to “3 Kenyan TV stations.”

The version running on the New York Times Web site sources that datum to a named official (institutional) source.

the Kenyan election commission said Raila Odinga, a flamboyant politician and businessman campaigning as champion of the poor, held a sizable lead of 57 percent of the vote, compared with 39 percent for Mwai Kibaki, the incumbent president who is known for bolstering Kenya’s economy but favoring his own tribe.

Now, at any time during the process did the Election Commission of Kenya actually make a statement to that effect?

Or is Globo’s sourcing correct here: Did the Times agoraphobe in Nairobi just crib numbers off the TV set in his hotel room, reflecting what “local press sources” said the Election Commission said?

Just a question.

How come there are two different stories about the sourcing of the hard number in this story?

And how come the Times prognostication failed (the challenger did not, according to official results, win the election going away.)

(Looking at the official figures published b KBC, it appears that the incumbent reportedly got massive majorities in the southern part of the country, with a clear North-South polarization effect in evidence.)

Let me check.

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