Mexico radio host rehired after alcohol flap
Maybe it was all talk.
Radio anchor Carmen Aristegui, one of the best-known news personalities in Mexico, has been rehired by the broadcaster that dropped her after she called on President Felipe Calderon to answer unsubstantiated rumors about his drinking.
Aristegui and MVS Communications issued a joint announcement Tuesday saying she would be back on her morning news show next week.
Aristegui’s dismissal last week ignited protests by fans and stirred debate over press liberties and journalistic responsibility in Mexico’s evolving democracy.
“The recent days have been instructive,” the joint statement said. It said the station would establish an ombudsman’s position to represent listeners and evaluate the ethical behavior of its employees.
MVS said last week that it had fired Aristegui for violating its ethics code, but did not elaborate. Aristegui said the company was pressured by the Calderon administration after she spoke on the air about allegations that he is an alcoholic.
She had said on the air that Calderon should address the rumors after a leftist lawmaker unfurled a banner on the floor of the Mexican Congress referring to the president as a “drunk.”
Calderon’s detractors have often circulated allegations about his drinking, mainly over social-networking sites. But none has ever offered evidence and Calderon has never shown signs of intoxication in public.
Aristegui, who also hosts a show on CNN en Espanol, defended her actions, saying the Mexican public had a right to know about the president’s health.
A presidential spokesman later said Calderon was in good health and maintained a robust daily schedule. He did not directly mention the alcoholism rumors.
Calderon administration officials denied any role in Aristegui’s firing. There was no immediate administration reaction to word she was being reinstated to her weekday slot.
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