Editors note: As a globetrotting investigative reporter who has worked for major news outlets on both sides of the Atlantic, Greg Palast has had ample opportunity to see how media coverage can strongly skew how events are seen by the public. Last week, in an original article published on AlterNet, "The Screwing of Cynthia McKinney", he showed how sloppy reporters at the New York Times and National Public Radio were complicit in the political destruction of progressive Rep. Cynthia McKinney. Now, in another case study, he takes on U.S. media coverage of Venezuela's political turmoil.
True enough that media is strongly skewed in one direction and many times in the opposite. There has been times when the attacks on Republicans have been even harsher. And the Republicans rightly (in most cases) or wrongly jettisoned the individual from power. Bob Packwood is one person that comes to mind. There was plenty of stuff to get rid of him on but accusations of things that happened as much as 30 years prior just looks like a political witch hunt. And there are plenty more people on both sides of the aisle that have been "Screwed". I just wonder how Greg Palast seems to always know the internal workings of a lot of countries of the world?
Once again, the larger pro-Chavez demonstrations were, as they say in Latin America, "disappeared." I guess they didn't fit the print.
In the first portion of the title link ending with the above passage, I can not actually comment on the biasness since I have not seen the papers and no links were provided. But...
BY A VENEZUELA PLURALISTA, SAFE, WITH FREE CITIZENS TO CHOOSE ITS EXPECTATIONS FOR A FUTURE BETTER
Venezuela Netzwerk Deutschland
And while I don't follow the mainstream media as closely as some people do, I don't believe these marches were published:
THOUSANDS MARCH IN CARACAS AGAINST KILLINGS
BLOODY PROTEST IN CARACAS
VENEZUELA FLAG CHICANERY
CARACAS ANTICRIME MARCH
ANTI-POLICE PROTESTS EXPLODE ACROSS VENEZUELA
TENS OF THOUSANDS PROTEST 70k MURDERS IN VENEZUELA
OPPOSITION RESURGES, BIG, WITH ROSALES IN VENEZUELA
PHOTOS AT AN AVALANCHA
PAN-AMERICAN PROTEST IN DC AGAINST CHAVEZ MEDDLING
500,000 MARCH AGAINST CHAVEZ IN CARACAS
THE AVALANCHAS SNOWBALL
AVALANCHA OF AVALANCHAS
No not a march but pictures of the voting:
VENEZUELA VOTES -PHOTOS
And now back to the title link article:
Look at the Chronicle/AP photo of the anti-Chavez marchers in Venezuela. Note their color. White.
And not just any white. A creamy rich white.
And the color of the pro-Chavez marchers? Dark brown. Brown and round as cola nuts -- just like their hero, their President Chavez. They wore an unvarying uniform of jeans and T-shirts.
I am not sure what to say except this is race baiting if I ever saw it. To the reader, I hope that you had a chance to see all the "creamy rich white" people in all the pictures in the links provided earlier. I happened to find a couple of white people but not much blond hair blue eyes running around. But after living in Los Angeles for a over a decade, the framing of this is completely a racist stunt. Shall we have him explain???
Let me explain.
For five centuries, Venezuela has been run by a minority of very white people, pure-blood descendants of the Spanish conquistadors. To most of the 80 percent of Venezuelans who are brown, Hugo Chavez is their Nelson Mandela, the man who will smash the economic and social apartheid that has kept the dark-skinned millions stacked in cardboard houses in the hills above Caracas while the whites live in high-rise splendor in the city center.
Yes, there has been inequality in the past and it continues. But his socialist autocratic techniques have not worked in the past (ask Zimbabweans how they like it), so I am doubtful with the "The Devil's Excrement" that things will improve all that much...
‘Ten years from now, 20 years from now, you will see, oil will bring us ruin. It’s the devil’s excrement. We are drowning in the devil’s excrement.’
Juan Pablo Perez Alfonso, former Venezuelan oil minister and a founder of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), speaking in the early 1970s.
I hope to write my next post on these issues.
Odd phrasings -- "dictator" and "autocrat" -- to describe Chavez, who was elected by a landslide majority (56 percent) of the voters. Unlike our President.
Now true, during the writing in 2002 and 2003 the press maybe went a little quick with the autocrat label but now with his new powers in "The Mother of All Laws" - Is Chavez Now Officially a Dictator?. I can not see how his regime is anything except a autocratic regime.
Problem was, the "resignation" story was a fabulous fib, a phantasmagoric fabrication. In fact, the President of Venezuela had been kidnapped at gunpoint and bundled off by helicopter from the presidential palace. He had not resigned; he never resigned; and one of his captors (who secretly supported Chavez) gave him a cell-phone from which he called and confirmed to friends and family that he remained alive -- and still president.
The problem is not that the media got it wrong, but whether it was corrected and explained later. I have heard Democracy Now make enough mistakes also, expecially when 'rushing to print'.
"He's crazy," shouts a protester about President Chavez on one broadcast. And if you watched the 60 Minutes interview with Chavez, you saw a snippet of a lengthy conversation -- a few selective seconds, actually -- which, out of context, did made Chavez look loony.
Watching the speech in the UN and his willingness to hug and praise brutal dictators from around the world then maybe 60 minutes saw stuff that we had not seen yet. And I actually think they are part of the MSM liberal biasness.
Try it: Do a Google or Lexis search on the words Chavez and autocrat.
For who is the autocrat? Today, there are hundreds of people held in detention without charges in George Bush's United States. In Venezuela, there are none.
Yes, I did and it showed plenty of Google Bombing including this article was high on the list. Plenty of people trying to defend him in the alternative media I see. As far as autocrat, I don't believe Bush has gotten an 18 month decree endorsed on 11 sections of the society and unlike Venezuela the USA was attacked. Even the Patriot Act was debated in congress.
Lesson: If you want to get accurate news in the United States, you might want to learn a language other than English.
I will concede that we do not get all the news about the world. That is called editing. But with the internet, small nitch markets can provide that information that is more in depth than MSM. This is not all of my sources and most are aggregators, but wanted to show some good alternative news outlets (and not even British papers-which are rags also)...
Watching America I love this site since it gives mostly editorials (opinions) in foreign papers about the USA and our relations with the world and is translated to English.
MemriTV-Mostly a translation service of broadcast journalism from the Middle East, but shocking none the less.
People's Daily Online-Yes a look at how the last socialist country views the world. I also have Pravda as an interesting site to visit.
Indymedia-Their endless pursuit of bad things sometimes does reward the reader. They did a piece on Syria in Lebanon a few years back and it was astounding the detail and showing the level of corruption.
Hindustan Times-Great source of information about India. A while back a person was accusing India of censorship on the Internet, and I was able to pull a couple of articles out as well as some American Blogs and piece together a compelling story of what the real story was. Love it.
WashingtonBlade-Just a quick read to see if anything strikes the Gays hot buttons. As in: Alaska House Republicans push expensive vote on gays D.P. benefits
Unpartisan I have a link from my blog also to there, and have not used it much, but is an interesting idea of aggregating news and blogs from the left and right. This could be a valuable tool for research on specific topics.
AfroCuba This link is to Venezuela and does not get updated that often, but should be good to get a different perspective.
Fars News And yes hear directly what the Iranians are saying. Some of it is funny. For example:
Ahmadinejad to Give Good News to Iranians
TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here on Sunday that his country has already stabilized its nuclear rights, and further added that the Iranian nation will hear good news within the next two months.
How do you stabilize nuclear rights????
Jus Global And this is just out there in left field. Truly a hate site (IMHO). And no I have not paid for membership, but could be useful for finding out about terrorists.
NAM News Network Another step in globalization that small countries can have a voice to get information out. (NAM-Non-Aligned Movement)
Alsabaah is news from Iraq.
Well one more passage from the title link:
The Times reporter wrote that "the president says he will stay in power." "In power?" What a strange phrase for an elected official. Having myself spoken with Chavez, it did not sound like him. He indicated he would stay "in office" -- quite a different inference than "in power." But then, the Times' phrasing isn't in quotes.
I see a distinction without merit in the difference. And now that Hugo has toyed with the idea of President for life and/or reversing term limit laws, I see that his earlier statements seem to correlate with his actions now.
I can only pray that this does not end up bad...
"We will put up a good fight for our freedom"
P.S.: Anonymous said...
President Ahmadinejad's real views are summarized on this website: ahmadinejadquotes.blogspot.com