Monday, March 12, 2007

The Chess Players....Federico Jiménez Losantos

Federico Jiménez Losantos has become a pioneer in Spain of highly politicised right wing talk radio, as well as being almost a world leader in the art of getting well paid for insulting people. His most common target is of course the current Spanish government, but he will also turn his fire on anyone on the right who fails to back his demagogic diatribes. Both the conservative newspaper ABC, and the PP mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, have been subjected to very vicious attacks from Losantos.

His principal platform is his program on the COPE radio station, which is owned by the Catholic church. The continuing support of the church for people like Losantos only serves as further evidence of how certain institutions in Spain never passed through the post-Franco political transition that the rest of Spanish society experienced. As with the case of El Mundo, this is not just about politics, it is also about the battle for audience between different media groups. Losantos is also heavily involved in a right wing web site called Libertad Digital, one of these sites that takes the news issued from more conventional media organisations, gives it the required political spin, and then reissues it.

Losantos is idolised by those who turn out for the anti-government demonstrations that have become such regular events in Madrid, stickers supporting the COPE are almost more common than the official posters of the organisers. He brings comfort to the angry Aznarist right wing of the PP who seek revenge above anything else, not for the Madrid bombings of course, but for the election result that followed.

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