This broadcasting company has radio and TV channels and business channels run by experts. Beyond doubt this communications group helped Spanish people make up their minds about the nearly eight years of Zapatero’s disastrous administration, which was democratically ended a year ago next Sunday. It is now Thursday. On November 20th, 2011 the General Election results silenced the PSOE and awarded the PP an absolute majority which they seem loath to use. This is all fine and historical but what about Intereconomía?
The station is a part of the daily newspaper La Gaceta, a journal still not mentioned by state-owned television among their ‘distinguished’ list, which includes the Marxist/Socialist organ of the PSOE El País; the heavily right-wing mouthpiece of its chief editor Ramírez – El Mundo; the official spokesmen of the centre-right ABC: a few regional newspapers blindly not including El Día (Canary Islands), and that odd mixture of cultures and opinions La Vanguardia.
Intereconomía TV presents around sixteen to eighteen hours of live television, with a lot of sport. In the evenings there is an hour’s Intereconomía news presented efficiently but stridently by two super professionals Juan-Ignacio Ocaña and Carmen Estañ. At 10pm the loud, opinionated and ill-mannered Antonio Jiménez presents a contentious programme called ‘Gato all Agua’, which consists of inviting the best speakers in Spain to sit round a table and listen to Jiménez sounding off between commercials.
These include Carlos Dávila (ex-director of La Gaceta), Luis Herrero, Albert Rivera, Mario Conde, José Luis Balbas, Manuel de Prada and Federico Jiménez Santos. Brought in occasionally are two especially infuriating shouters, Antonio M. Carmona and Alfonso Rojo. Occasionally the talking heads are allowed a word. The more distinguished they are, Pablo Castellano for instance, or a blind man with a brain like a computer called Miguel Durán – the more they are interrupted by Jiménez – especially if they are female ex-Ministers like Cristina Alberdi: these are neverpermitted to finish a sentence.
This is the programme that helped more than any others to destroy Zapatero/Rubalcaba. It is divisive and mostly contradictory, and few viewers can stand much of Señor Jiménez. He suffers from a great number of cranial ticks, exasperating to the viewers, and he insists on speaking when his distinguished guests are interrupting; the programme is live, and the result often resembles a barnyard full of cackling broody hens. This man Jiménez has published a book assuring us how wonderful he is.
Each evening from Monday to Friday there is an inter-active question, always cleverly worded, to which viewers are asked to respond, after which a dubious percentage table is shown, invariably in favour of the political line Intereconomía is following that week.
Among the station’s programmes there is a great deal of sport, and a few commercials, some of them hoary with age. There is also a peculiar creature called Ricardo Martín, paid one assumes to appear with his betters in Face to Face sessions; he duly insults both them and the viewers’ intelligence. The subject does not matter. Whatever the other Face says, Martín will contradict, using the interruptive method, or obtrusive interjections designed to put the other man/woman off. It is the ardent hope of this viewer that one fine day someone will haul off and break the obnoxious man’s nose. Some hope! At least a sensible man like Luis Losada or Eduardo García-Serrano could simply call Martín a coñazo and leave the set.
There are some reliable and bright people at Econonomía, such as Javier Horcajo and Luis de Andrés and a language genius called Quero. Most are Catalans fervently opposed to the diminutive Mussolini-clone Artur Mas, intent on independence for this autonomous region whether the people like it or not. One wonders about the mental stability of this absurdly pompous fellow. He ignores high-ups in the UE who remind us that an independent Cataluña cannot become part of the Union. He announces that there will shortly be a referendum worded rather like the questions put to the people during ‘Gato al Agua’ – subtle and full of hidden traps:- “Do you wish for an independent Cataluña within the European Union?’ The question is pointless (since such a thing is impossible) but popularist.
Something drastic and inexplicable has happened to Intereconomía. Its political programmes assault the Popular Party with emphasis on Mariano Rajoy. Its programmers are in love with Arturo Pérez Rubalcaba and a perfectly frightful woman called Valenciano. It gives us long, long, arduous minutes of the two leaders of supreme Spanish trade unions, spouting their usual pseudo-Marxist guff.
Yesterday El Telediario de Intereconomía called Iñaki Urdangarín ‘The Duke of Palma’, which is NOT his title, sixteen times in one news segment. The ex-handball player with Treasury problems is called ‘The Duke of Palma de Mallorca’ and the employees of Intereconomía know it. So why the deliberate misnomer?