This post is adapted from the author’s Twitter thread.

The latest in a series of clockwork, election-timed hits against AMLO, this time by Alan Feuer and Natalie Kitroeff at the New York Times, is the biggest nothing-burger yet. Let’s explore.

The piece begins with the vaguest of the vague: “American law enforecement officials” (who?) spent years looking into allegations set out by U.S. records (which?) and three people familiar with the matter (again, who?).

Well, maybe they’ll get more specific as they go along. Next up we have “potential links” and “possible ties” without any direct connections found between the president and criminal organizations. Nope, nothing specific there…

Then the caveat: aware that the ProPublica piece was based on the quintessential unreliable witness -Roberto López Nájera- the authors now caution the accounts of informants are “difficult to corroborate”, “sometimes end up being incorrect,” & weren’t “independently confirmed.”

The feast of vagueness goes on: “records show,” “a different source,” “a third source,” people “they believed to be cartel operatives.” And so on. Where are we going here?

Then the sleazy insinuation -laid out in Kitroeff’s “answer-by-five o’clock-or-else” letter to AMLO, that he traveled to Sinaloa in 2020 for the express purpose of meeting El Chapo’s mother. Hence, the careful phrasing of “traveled and met” instead of “traveled to meet”.

And that -literally- is it. The rest of the article is all speculation, a rehash of the Cienfuegos case, and an attempt to give some weight to the nothingburger by suggesting their is something there (really!) but the US declined to pursue it for diplomatic considerations.

In a piece swimming in “maybes” and “we-don’t-know-for-sures”, the allegation about the president’s sons is particularly irresponsible. A third source “suggested” that cartels were in possession of said videos? And that’s enough to go on?

Reporters have every right to protect their sources, of course, but confidential sources need to lead to something concrete. Have Kitroeff and Feuer actually seen the videos? Or is it just gossip hour based on carefully timed leaks from US intelligence agencies?

The Times piece is simply the latest in a series of election-season hits. A few weeks ago, the Baker Institute came out with a “report” that alleged -without proof- that MORENA and the cartels could be in cahoots in this year’s election.

Then it was Pro Publica’s turn, in coordination with Insight Crime, to allege that AMLO’s 2006 campaign received drug money. A thin piece that editor Steve Engelberg himself admitted was passed through the DEA before publication.

(Incidentally, passing pieces through US intelligence agencies is also a longstanding NYT tradition.) And now this. The clear attempt is to build a case against AMLO by insinuation that covers -now- practically every one of his presidential runs.

Of course, questions abound. Why is this all coming out now? If it’s so damning, why wasn’t it published when AMLO was actually running -or at the very least before the next campaign season? Why the obsessive attempt to build a case based on unnamed sources, records, and hearsay?

If you want to hear AMLO’s response to this and his opinion of the quality of Times reporting in general, it’s cued up right here (in Spanish):