David Frum

03.12.13

Is the New York Times Biased in Favor of Carlos Slim?

The Old Grey Lady's second largest shareholder is none of than Carlos Slim, the world's richest man. Might that at all impact the paper''s coverage of Mexico's most successful crony capitalist? Paul Gregory at RealClearMarkets has more:

Slim's overcharges reduce average living standards of the Mexican family more than $600 per year. Mexico's backward telecom infrastructure also reduces GDP by $32 billion per year - a substantial loss in Mexico's $1.6 trillion economy.

The Times second largest shareholder and lender of last resort seems to have drawn a bye from the newspaper's traditionally critical coverage of rich businessmen. The Times avoids mention of the OECD finding that Slim's telecommunications empire has Mexico "at the bottom of rankings with other OECD countries" except for profit margins. Instead, the Times credits Slim with "modernizing Mexico's crumbling telecommunications market" while avoiding the reach of national regulators (Mexico Takes Aim at a Titan in Telecom).

With the election of a new and young Mexican president, the Times will find it harder to maintain its silence on Slim. On December 2, 2012, President Enrique Nieta signed the Pact for Mexico with Mexico's three major parties to take on Slim, the television duopoly, the corrupt national oil company (Pemex), and the obstructive teachers' unions. If the new government's assault on its worst crony capitalists and vested interests succeeds, it will unleash a new era of growth and prosperity in Mexico with untold implications for North America.