Fired for Asking About Mexican President's Alleged Alcoholism

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MEXICO CITY -- Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui was fired by broadcast network MVS after asking on air about the alleged alcoholism of Mexican President Felipe Calderón last Friday.

The journalist, who has won several awards including the National Journalism and the Maria Moors Cabot from Columbia University, is known for her criticism of politicians.

On Friday she talked about the issue, which had gone from a water cooler conversation among journalists, to a topic of interest on social networking sites, and finally into the public sphere when a group of legislators from the leftist Partido del Trabajo (PT) put up a banner that read, “Would you let a drunk person drive your car? No, right? Then why would you let him lead the country?”

Aristegui said, "The president of the republic should really give a clear, crisp, formal response to this. There is nothing offensive, I think, when someone, if this were the case, goes through a problem of this nature. "

Two days later, the radio and television company ended her contract and said in a radio message that Aristegui had refused to apologize on air as was required. MVS said the journalist violated the station’s ethics by presenting a rumor as news.

Aristegui joined MVS in 2009 when W Radio (owned by Grupo Televisa) did not renew the annual contract she’d had since 2003 after she challenged a law that benefited the economic interests
of the television company.

She is now working on her own interview show, called “Aristegui,” for CNN en Español.