William Cummings, "New York Times Reactions to the
Election of Salvador Allende"


quote from an anonymous "critic" who says Allende "`will seem to be gentle, but it will be the iron fist in the velvet glove. If he is elected it will just be a matter of time before most of Latin America becomes Marxist.´"22 Even in an article that acknowledges Allende's long, democratic career the reader is left with the impression that his election signals the end of Chilean democracy and a devastating setback for the United States in the Cold War.

In addition to presenting Allende as the next Castro, New York Times reports focused their perspective on Allende's opposition, and for the most part neglected to inform the reader that many Chileans were enthusiastic about his election. Out of twenty-eight articles, seventeen relied heavily on either U.S. governmental sources or upper-class Chileans opposed to Allende, while only two focused on Allende's supporters. Despite the fact that massive celebrations followed Allende's election, the New York Times never mentioned such festive reactions among Allende's working and middle-class supporters. Rather, we learn from Joseph Novistski that the members of the Prince of Wales Country Club in Las Condes had adopted a "wait and see" approach and that "young rugby players greeted each other jokingly as Comrade."23

Several articles report massive bank withdrawals, rising black market exchange rates, and booked flights out of the country in the weeks following the election.24 While Chile did indeed face such problems during those months, the focus on, and repetition of those themes, in the absence of articles addressing the very large section of the population celebrating Allende´s victory, paints a disingenuous picture of a country at

22. Juan de Onis, "Chile's Leading Marxist: Salvador Allende," New York Times, September 7, 1970, 9.
23. Joseph Novitski, "Chilean Rightists Refuse to Concede Election," New York Times, September 7, 1970, 8.
24. See for example, Joseph Novitski, "Election Affects Chile´s Economy," New York Times, September 8, 1970, 8.
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