• Power, money and revenge This is how Pablo Iglesias' mud machine works

Just four months after launching his television channel, Pablo Iglesias has already activated his first purge on Canal Red. The journalist Sergio Gregori, called to be the star presenter of the station (apart from Iglesias himself) and host and director of El Tablero, the current affairs talk show that he intended to emulate and compete with Al rojo vivo, has been the first victim.

Gregori was relieved last week in three of the five days that the program is broadcast. Sources around the former secretary general of Podemos confirm that Iglesias' intention is to progressively remove him from the format due to a problem of "editorial line".

Gregori, who began presenting and directing the space every morning from Monday to Friday, will now only lead El Tablero on Mondays and Wednesdays and has been replaced the rest of the week by two faithful from Iglesias: Dina Bousselham and Laura Arroyo.

As confirmed by Gregori himself to EL MUNDO, his new role is "a decision of the chain", although the journalist assures that the only objective is "to improve the quality of the program".

"It's not a decision I made, but I think it can go the right way," admits Gregori. "We were a very small team and, being the only host, director and almost the only person in the writing of the program, it was very difficult to do it five days a week. With two other people it is easier to spend the rest of the days preparing the product."

Do you understand the suspicions that can be generated by the replacement of a journalist outside Podemos like you by two people like Dina Bousselham and Laura Arroyo?

- I can understand it and I think it will have to be communicated and explained better. Now it's time to row so that the decisions are for the good of the program and the chain, which I think they are.

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Power, money and revenge.

This is how Pablo Iglesias' mud machine works

  • Writing: RODRIGO TERRASA Madrid

This is how Pablo Iglesias' mud machine works

Sergio Gregori.

The 'Ferreras' of Canal Red that Pablo Iglesias raises to his breasts

  • Writing: MARTA CORBAL

The 'Ferreras' of Canal Red that Pablo Iglesias raises to his breasts

Bousselham is a militant of Podemos, was a personal advisor to Pablo Iglesias and directed La última hora, the digital newspaper that the party launched three years ago as a propaganda tool and that closed last March to integrate its contents precisely in Canal Red. Arroyo, on the other hand, is an expert in political communication and has been secretary of Political Analysis and Discourse of Podemos.

The two already hosted their own programs on the new party TV, but they have landed in El Tablero to control the message before and, above all, after the next general elections. Especially after the loss of power and influence that Pabloism has suffered in the political space that Yolanda Díaz now controls.

The objective of Canal Red was always to become an organ of agitprop that would allow Iglesias to reconstruct his discourse and renew the party after the inevitable end of the cycle in Podemos. "The project is to develop a political space in which what remains of what was Pabloism within Podemos can represent an institutional alternative and cultural impact," explained former Podemos deputy Ramón Espinar a few months ago in EL MUNDO. "A media tool has been set up to be able to massacre the internal opposition from outside the party and without any restrictions. And to have a factory of stories in the face of militancy."

Sergio has been accused of being related to Sumar for a long time and he has never been a lapdog of Pablo Iglesias

In this scenario, Gregori, far from the party apparatus and recently elected general secretary of the Union of Journalists of Madrid, has a difficult fit. "He really believed that he could do independent journalism and was not aware that Canal Red is Tele Pablo," lament sources close to the journalist.

"The modus operandi of Pablo Iglesias is quite evident," they confirm from their environment. "Sergio has been accused of being too close to Sumar or of being in the orbit of Más Madrid for a long time and he has never been a lapdog of Pablo."

Gregori's conciliatory stance from his program on Canal Red, his convinced defense of an alleged "plurality" in the station and his criticism of the "Cainite war" on the left (the quotation marks are his) as a result of the crisis between Podemos and Sumar have bothered the direction of the chain.

"It is evident that I have not been comfortable," acknowledges the journalist. "No one who has a progressive vocation has felt comfortable these months. It has been very hard because of the social and political climate, a very toxic climate in which the Cainite wars and the fratricidal battle between the different ideological currents has burned me a lot. I have had to be in a complicated position, I am like the son of separated parents who tries to get dad and mom closer... And that doesn't usually go well."

It is evident that I have not been comfortable. The Cainite wars and the fratricidal battle have burned me a lot

Sergio Gregori

The beginning of the rupture between Gregori and Iglesias occurred precisely during the negotiation between Podemos and the new formation promoted by Yolanda Díaz, who decided to veto in their lists the presence of figures as close to Pablo Iglesias as Irene Montero, Pablo Echenique or Rafa Mayoral. Only a few hours after Ione Belarra, current secretary general of Podemos, publicly confirmed the integration of her party in the candidacy of Sumar and claimed the presence of Montero in the lists, Canal Red published on its website an article signed by journalist Raúl Solís, one of the collaborators of the chain, in which Yolanda Díaz was attacked for being the daughter of a leader of CCOO, "who represents par excellence what has come to be called sociological Francoism." The same text caricatured the project of the current vice president of the Government as "the left of the Clintons of the provinces, the left of the Life and Style section of El País that confuses art with interior design and environmentalism with gardening, a left that has a phobia of being identified with the popular."

Gregori, who was a communication advisor in the Trade Union Confederation of CCOO, publicly criticized and from his program the article of Solís, shared on his social networks a photograph of himself with the general secretaries of CCOO and UGT, Unai Sordo and Pepe Álvarez, and gave voice in El Tablero to those who demanded that the leaders of Podemos control "their armies of trolls" during the electoral campaign.

"Not even on Sunday there is rest in the Cainite war," Sergio Gregori complained on Twitter in the middle of the political navajeo phase between Podemos and Sumar. "The disaffection that this generates in their own and others can become irreparable."

When Pablo Iglesias announced the launch of Canal Red late last year, Gregori appeared as one of the few faces of the new station not linked to the former vice president's inner circle. Gregori, about to turn 26, is a journalist, founded his own audiovisual production company and his internet channel (Furor TV) and had become known as a child for his interviews with politicians, including Iglesias himself. In 2019 he published the book Taking sides: conversations with the transformative left (Txalaparta), with a prologue by Iñaki Gabilondo.

"I am a journalist, but I am not from Podemos or Sumar, or IU," he claimed when he premiered at the head of his magazine. "I just think that El Tablero serves to have conversations that are not taking place on the left"

Only a couple of months later, when the tensions between Podemos and Sumar were already undisguised, Gregori tweeted: "With @ElTablero_TV we are managing to carry out a progressive morning with plurality and multi-party system (in the worst possible climate on the left) where a multitude of current issues are discussed in depth and addressed. And none of this is being easy."

The journalist claimed yesterday in EL MUNDO "freedom" with which he has coordinated the program, said that his relationship with Pablo Iglesias is better than when Canal Red started, confirmed that he will only be director of El Tablero the two days he will continue to present it and did not rule out taking on new projects within the chain from September.

Would you have liked to continue at the helm for five days as before?

-Well... I don't think I was trained with the small team we had.

  • Pablo Iglesias
  • Can
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  • Irene Montero
  • Yolanda Diaz

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