When your leader says this: “Perhaps we should do a better job of talking to the media, or — if I may say — of managing the media.”
Or this: “The only battle in which we are not advancing well is the battle of perception.”
That’s Karzai of Afghanistan and Calderon of Mexico, respectively. Leaders always and all the time complain about the way they’re portrayed by the media, but if your first instinct is to blame perception when the situation is obviously bleak in other ways, it means you have problems. Perception can create reality to a certain extent, but there’s no reason to believe it’s consistently and consciously malleable (not to say reality itself is either, but still). Just worry about what you can control.
By the way, the Calderon article contains this tidbit:
José Guajardo Varela, who was running for mayor of Valle Hermoso, a Mexican border town near Brownsville, Tex., was in his farm supplies business on Thursday when gunmen barged in with guns blazing, killing him and his son. He had ignored warnings to drop out of the race.
This means two prominent politicians have been victims of foul play recently; certainly not a good sign for political stability.