One might think that in such a cynical political world the media would by now have cottoned on to leaders who constantly change the narrative to drive attention from hot-button issues that are causing them discomfort.
Donald Trump spent four years perfecting the art with simple and often absurd tweets. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, fighting for survival after revelations of widespread disregard of Covid laws at his official residence, last week managed to switch the headlines by regurgitating false, hard right-wing slurs claiming the leader of the opposition had failed to prosecute a celebrity molester while serving as director of public prosecutions in the early 2000s.
With his mañaneras (daily morning press conferences), which sometimes go on for two hours, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is also a master at trying to control the news cycle. His latest cryptic intervention, suggesting that relations with Spain be “paused,” had the immediate intended effect, as domestic and international news organizations rose to the bait, averting journalists’ attention from the ongoing furor around his eldest son’s luxury lifestyle, and thorny questions over his pending nationalistic energy reforms, which have been harshly criticized by many foreign governments.