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

18

malnutrition, unemployment, and inflation as explanations for the need to shift to socialism, and to address claims that he was a totalitarian: "We start from different ideological positions. For you to be a Communist or a Socialist is to be totalitarian; for me no...On the contrary, I think Socialism frees man."63 

The existence of such exceptions, however, does not change the fact that the New York Times provided a markedly unbalanced perspective on events in Chile between September 4 and November 4, 1970. As Pollock and Eisenhower point out, "to note that the U.S. press provides evidence contradicting the themes [that present Allende in a negative light], is not to suggest that the press denies its own point of emphasis. Contradictory information is given less space or attention...and when mentioned, is often put in contexts that minimize, or encourage skepticism about, its significance."64 As we have seen, the bulk of the space and attention within New York Times articles focused on the negative or alarming aspects of Allende's election. The few column inches dealing with his support among the Chilean electorate presented it as fragmented and irrational, while Juan de Onis's article, "Chile's Leading Marxist: Salvador Allende," hinted that Allende's long political career merely disguised his totalitarian nature. Three letters in the back pages of the op/ed section, one article featuring lengthy Allende quotes, and one editorial stating that Allende's election might not necessarily signal the establishment of a Soviet state in Chile, could not begin to balance the Times's general presentation of Allende as a threat to democracy and international stability.


63. Salvador Allende as quoted in Joseph Novitski, "Allende Sees Chile Finding Her Own Way to Socialism," New York Times, October 4, 1970, 1.
64. "The New Cold War in Latin America," 76.
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