‘Mockumentary’ on Spain’s history has got country divided in Two
39-year-old presenter Jordi Évole has become the darling of Spanish TV after building a reputation for asking straightforward questions about some of the most sensitive subjects in business and politics. But after airing a documentary that ended in a shocking twist, some of his fans have folded.
Évole has faced crooked politicians and businessmen to ask the tough questions the public always wanted answered in the search for truth. In his recent documentary on King Juan Carlos and the failed coup 23-F, however, Évole had sided with deceit to prove a point.
King Juan Carlos was instrumental to Spain’s democracy since opposing the military coup 23-F on 23 February 1981. The documentary, however, said that the coup was a hoax and that the king had been behind it all along.
At the end of the documentary, Évole dropped a shocking twist: the documentary was fake. The revelation sent shockwaves in social media. Many felt deceived by Évole while some praised the presenter’s audacity.
Évole on his defence explained the purpose of the deception in the ‘mockumentary:’ ‘At least we admitted that it (the documentary) was a lie. In the news we watch every day there are deliberately false reports and no-one says a thing. We wanted to show how vulnerable we are to the media.’
‘In the age we live in, with the tsunami of information that lands on our heads every day, you have to tell the viewer that they should look at everything from a distance, contrast, seek other opinions.
‘If after watching there’s someone who now thinks that they should be more choosy about the information they receive, then I consider the experiment a success.’
Spain is divided about Évole’s purpose. Supporters like journalist Juan Ramón Lucas compared it to Orson Welles’ ‘The War of the Worlds’ while TV presenter Andreu Buenafuente said it was ‘brilliant.’ Meanwhile, Spanish parliamentarian Alfonso Guerra, who was on the day of the actual 23-F coup attempt, said the documentary was a ‘monumental farce’ and that ‘not even Goebbels (Hitler’s minister of Nazi propaganda) could have done better.’
Majorca daily Diario de Mallorca writer Pilar Garcés said Évole’s mockumentary cost him his fans: ‘Deceit is deceit.
‘The journalist I had pegged as a good guy, responsible and professional, changed sides and went in search of an audience instead of the truth.’
But no matter how many fans have lost their trust on him, it is clear that after this mockumentary many will still be watching what Évole will cook up next.