Stephen Engelberg is ProPublica’s editor-in-chief and served as founding managing editor from 2008–2012. On Friday, February 9th, Mr. Engelberg published the following editorial on ProPublica, which describes itself as a nonprofit newsroom investigating power abuses. Apparently, Lopez Obrador is subject of investigation.
Almost every weekday at 7 a.m., Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador holds a press conference known in Spanish as “la mañanera,” or, loosely translated, the morning show. He takes questions from reporters, but his purpose is to control the news, recounting his achievements and bashing his enemies, real and perceived — especially those in the media.
Since last week, López Obrador has focused much of his ire on an article we published on Jan. 30 about allegations that drug traffickers contributed $2 million to his first, unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2006. He dismissed the story as “completely false” and “slander.”
The president has been aggressive in attacking the story’s reporter, Tim Golden, calling him “a mercenary in the service” of the Drug Enforcement Administration, a tool of the U.S. State Department and “pawn,” among other things. “As far as I’m concerned, they should give him the prize for slander,” he said of Golden, who has twice shared the Pulitzer Prize.
On Wednesday, López Obrador challenged Golden to come to the National Palace in Mexico City to answer questions about the origins of the story, why we wrote it and the identity of his sources in the United States and Mexico.