Fox News Blacked out in Mexico During Election

June 29th, 2006 12:11 PM

Representatives from Fox News, CNN, and the BBC were told that broadcasting opinion surveys about Mexico's upcoming election eight days before the voting was forbidden. They are also banned from analyzing the candidates' weaknesses and reporting on campaign activities.

CNN and BBC both have separate feeds from the one shown in America (No Lou Dobbs en Español), so they have no problem complying with the rules. Fox News has only one feed, and would have to alter its entire programming.

Reports the LA Times:

"I just don't think we had much choice," said Janet Alshouse, senior vice president of international distribution for Fox News. "We can't restrict our coverage."

The channel planned to go dark at 12:01 a.m. today and resume transmission after the polls close Sunday evening. A message in Spanish and English will tell viewers that Fox News is temporarily unavailable.

Sergio Sarmiento, a columnist for the Mexico City newspaper Reforma, said that although Fox News did not have a large audience there, the channel's decision was a form of self-censorship that set "a dangerous precedent."

"We do need the foreign media," he said.