War on Drugs

CBS Drops the Ball During Interview With Mexican President Felipe Calderon


Mexico President Felipe Calderon appeared on CBS's "Early Show" this morning to discuss the drug war and immigration. Anchor Jeff Glor comes close to getting Calderon to explain what exactly he means by finding "market alternatives" to Mexico's current drug-war strategy, a term Calderon first used earlier this month, then abruptly switches the topic to immigration when Calderon starts repeating himself. 

A transcript of the exchange: 

Glor: You said if drug consumption can't be limited here [in the U.S.], decision makers must seek other solutions. You talk about market alternatives. Are you talking about legalizing drugs? 

Calderon: I'm talking about market alternatives, market solutions. The point is the astronomical rentals that the criminals have coming from the consumption of the United States must be addressed. My point is either we reduce consumption, or we need more alternatives, more solutions, at least to analyze, and among them of course we need to include the market alternatives. 

Glor: Immigration reform. What should the U.S. do right now?

Frost/Nixon this wasn't. But then, that's likely why Calderon agreed to go on the "Early Show." As New York Times's Mexico correspondent Damien Cave noted on twitter, Calderon's media strategy is built around evading tough questions about the violence his government is engendering through its cooperation with U.S. law enforcement:

Despite months of requests, President Calderon has decided not to speak with us. Travel shows, yes. New York Times, no.

.Calderon's PR seems to think TV reaches broader audience but even morning shows were unsatisfied with his answer on violence.

Pres. Calderon, though he talks often about the U.S., has generally refused to sit 4 tough questions from correspondents in his own country.

Calderon's approach feeds into the idea, expressed by many in Mexico, that he's not willing to listen or adapt.

I should clarify. We still have a request in to Calderon. A long standing request, not yet accepted. But they could still say yes. Right? 

Calderon could agree to an NYT interview, but that would likely mean he'd have to explain what the hell he means when he says "market alternatives."