Headline Howler: Why is the Beeb pushing “centrism”?

The headline:

Centrist claims win in Guatemala

The howler:

Centre-left candidate Alvaro Colom has declared victory in Guatemala’s presidential election with the count nearly complete.

With results from 95% of polling stations counted, Mr Colom had a lead of 5% over his right-wing rival Otto Perez Molina.

Emphasis added.

Why does the Beeb suddenly feel the need to minimize the left for the sake of the centre? Read what the Economist (hardly a socialist rag) has to say:

Álvaro Colom, a former businessman, heads a centre-left party and was once close to the left-wing guerrillas who fought a civil war, mainly against military dictators, for more than three decades until a 1994 peace accord.

Gee, that’s quite a past. Not something I’d be ashamed of; if it were me, I’d be trumpeting that news from the rooftops.

Especially in Guatemala, where the left’s history is honorable, the right’s filthy, and that of the centre…murky.

PS: Far be it from me to not occasionally give the Associated Press credit where due. They decided to pigeonhole Alvaro Colom as primarily an “anti-poverty” candidate, and sneaked that “centre-left” bit in lower down. Attaboys! You show that silly Beeb!

PPS: Looks like the Beeb is now starting to cotton on to Colom’s leftishness. It’s now reporting that he’s an ordained Mayan priest, plans on consulting with Mayan elders during his rule, and that “His brand of politics is likely to be much closer to that of the moderate President Lula of Brazil than the socialist Hugo Chavez in Venezuela”. Lula, of the Brazilian Workers’ Party, a “moderate”? Oops, I think we have our next howler.

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