Does the Media's Cuba Misreporting Extend to Venezuela?

Saturday, March 8, 2014
Apparently so.

An excerpt by Alek Boyd's "Misreporting Venezuela" in Infodio:

Then we see how opposition's political dynamics are misreported. Henrique Capriles is goooood. He represents the "moderate" wing. Leopoldo Lopez, Maria Corina Machado and Antonio Ledezma, they are all baaaad. They represent the "radical" wing. No mention of protests having been driven solely by students. No mention of arrest, on trumped charges, of Leopoldo Lopez by the military. No mention of imprisonment of Lopez in a military jail. No mention of conditions of arrest of Lopez. No mention of violations to due process, such as holding audiences in a bus parked outside the prison. No mention of campaign to strip Maria Corina Machado of her parliamentary immunity by the very thugs (colectivos) terrorising and killing innocents indiscriminately and with total impunity. No mention of Maduro's threats to jail democratically elected politicians, as he promised he would do, and did, with Lopez. No mention of statements by chavista Minister of Education saying poor Venezuelans must be kept poor, otherwise they will turn against the 'revolution'. Nada. For none of that goes well with preconceived ideas about what the Venezuelan crisis is all about. It's a bit like what goes in Ukraine: U.S. imperialism = BAD. Russia's imperialism? No word from the left. As Nick Cohen brilliantly explained: "the relativist Western left is interested only in the West, and cannot even think about ‘the atrocities of someone else’." The world must be reminded in every single article, for instance, that Dilma Roussef was tortured. But similar antics, and worse such as sodomizing a student with a rifle or beating partially disabled people, get no mileage at the BBC and AP, nor from utterly hypocritical Dilma, who nowadays claims that Brazil sticks to the principle of non-intervention. As if we didn't know what Lula did in Venezuela in 2002, in Honduras in 2009, or what his resented successor did in Paraguay in 2012.

In the opinion of Goodman et al, what we have here is a government supported by a majority of brown-skinned, poor, disenfranchised people trying to survive a wave of violence, unleashed by a minority of radical, conservative, educated, white middle classes, bent on wresting control through undemocratic means, to then surrender sovereignty to U.S. interests. Never mind the brutality, torture, and assassinations of innocent, and unarmed, students and civilians. Never mind the excessive use of military force to placate peaceful demonstrations. Never mind the presence of a de facto Cuban occupation army. Never mind the fact that chavismo has never won overall control of student and authorities bodies of Venezuelan universities, where voting is still done manually.

Chavismo needs/must advance this notion of it being democratic. Since parts of its discourse marry well with widespread anti-Americanism, the BBC, Goodman et al do a fantastic job at misinforming the uninformed and the ignorant. Not only do they misrepresent the crisis, they also misrepresent the parties. No word would be read from this lot on how the "moderate" wing is supported by utterly corrupt chavista bankers and political operatives that are, in no small part, responsible for the current situation, or how Chavismo relies on impossible-to-be-described-as-leftists Boligarchs for many of its deals. However, no amount of manipulated subjectivity passing as objective journalism can win the day against social media. While the reach of BBC and AP is, most certainly, global, it pales next to that of Twitter and Facebook, where the Venezuelan crisis is being reported in real time, unedited, by hundreds of thousands of citizen reporters armed with smartphones. In the days, months and years to come, irresponsible reporting will be taken to task more and more often. Perhaps someone should pass that message to the irresponsible dinosaurs manning editorial desks at AP and the BBC.