TV gossip queen honored by Congress on International Women’s Day, sparking criticism

The host of Peru’s most spotlighted tabloid TV show, Magaly Medina, received an award of distinction from Congress’ Women’s Commission on International Women’s day, immediately unleashing a splew of criticism from a wide range of public and political figures, including Peru’s Minister of Women’s Affairs.

“I was very surprised with the award they gave (Medina),” said Carmen Vildoso Chirinos, the Minister of Women’s Affairs. “I think Magaly Medina makes fun of people. This is the type of journalism that has great ratings, but does so by destroying the reputation of people. What we hope for from journalism is that it helps build a strong image of women in favor of a culture of peace, and I don’t see her projecting such things. This is why the prize is so surprising, and very questionable.”

“Magaly Medina is not an example for the women of this country,” Vidoso added.

Medina’s program, Magaly TeVe (Magaly Sees You), is a campy extravaganza of nightly gossip and paparazzi that strikes fear and loathing into the hearts of Peruvian TV personalities, sports stars and show girls, whose intimate comings and goings she reveals, usually via hidden camera.

The award – which was handed over to Medina on March 7 by the President of Congress’ Women’s Commission, Karina Beteta, of the Union for Peru Party, or UPP – was allegedly never pre-approved by the commission itself.

“On Wednesday, when we held (this year’s) first session, quorum was not attained,” said the commission’s Vice-President, Olga Cribilleros. “We didn’t decide on anything, so this must be (Beteta’s) decision, her personal initiative. I don’t know what else to think.”

But, according to Beteta – who admitted to taking certain liberties as commission president – the commission was well aware of her intentions.

“All the other congresswomen knew it was going to happen,” said Beteta. “Every single one of them, and a week ahead of time.”

“I confirm: Magaly Medina was honored as a woman, as a mother, daughter, as a fighter who was able to succeed in spite of financial hardships experienced since her childhood,” said Beteta. “This is what should matter to us women, not the problems that she may have with the Justice Department.”

Last October, Medina and producer Ney Guerrero Orellana were sentenced to prison terms after a Lima court found them guilty of defaming Peruvian soccer star Paolo Guerrero. Medina alleged that the soccer player had been out drinking early the morning of a match between the Peruvian and Brazilian national soccer teams. But an investigation by the Peruvian Soccer Federation found that the photographs had been taken days before. Guerrero quickly filed a criminal defamation lawsuit, claiming the journalist had insulted his honor and ruined his reputation.

Months earlier, in June 2008, Medina was ordered to serve four months of community service and pay a fine of 5,000 soles, or about $1,778, in civil reparation for defaming a producer from a rival television station.

“If they’re criticizing my award, it’s obviously for petty reasons,” said Medina. “This is the country of pettiness. Congress was only responding to what people feel, and that’s why my work was recognized.”

Sharing is caring!

Comments are closed.